New theatre for Qld - will support growth and ambition

The Palaszczuk Government will deliver a new $150 million state of the art theatre for Brisbane with the bulk of the funding committed for its construction part in this month’s State Budget.

New theatre for Qld - will support growth and ambition

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It includes an investment of $125 million towards its construction on the Playhouse Green site at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC).

“We have an active performing arts sector with companies that collaborate on a national and international level and we have a community keen and always ready to experience the wonderful arts on offer,” the Premier said.

“We need our infrastructure to support the unlimited potential of Queensland’s arts sector so we can build on cultural tourism opportunities, provide high-quality experiences to audiences, ensure access to the state’s performing arts companies, and continue attracting world-class artists and productions,” she said.

The Premier said the new venue would support the state’s four home companies - Queensland Ballet, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Opera Queensland and Queensland Theatre - by providing access across five QPAC venues.

Opera Queensland Artistic Director and CEO Patrick Nolan has hailed the Queensland Government’s announcement as, “very good news for Brisbane audiences, arts workers and artists. Millions of tickets are sold every year to live performances in Queensland, enabling homegrown talent to flourish, and fuelling a vibrant economy. This investment by the Government shows the confidence it has in investing in the growth of the creative industries.” said Nolan

"The state of the art venue provides us with a great opportunity to share our work with more Brisbane audiences, and the new built-in technology will allow us to stream our work across the state and to collaborators in Asia and beyond,” Mr Nolan said.

"We look forward to working with the Government, other Queensland home companies and the wider performing arts industry to ensure the new venue meets the demands of artists and audiences,” Mr Nolan said.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said our home companies were on significant growth trajectory and the new theatre would further support this while enabling larger audiences to experience their inspiring performances. “The Queensland Ballet is playing to sell-out audiences, recording audience growth of 57per cent over the last four years, while Queensland Theatre’s Ladies in Black performed to audiences of more than 30,000 in QPAC’s Playhouse Theatre in 2017.

Queensland Theatre’s Artistic Director Sam Strong and Executive Director Amanda Jolly both agree, “Any investment that enables more live theatre is a step in the right direction – more jobs for artists, more unforgettable experiences for audiences and more leadership from Queensland. Brisbane’s appetite for live performance is greater than ever. Queensland Theatre is playing to more people than ever before, we’re thrilled that the Government is investing in the infrastructure that fuels the growth of our industry.”

“From 2019, Opera Queensland will deliver a third mainstage performance and the critically-acclaimed Queensland Symphony Orchestra continues to attract the world’s greats to perform in Queensland,” MS Enoch said.

This is an outstanding opportunity for Queensland to continue its established journey in the global performing arts industry. The development of the theatre is paralleling the growth and maturity of Queensland’s performing arts Home Companies – this is a wonderful platform for the future," said Chris Freeman, Chair, Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

“In addition to supporting our home companies, QPAC has also entered into residencies to support Circa, Expressions Dance Company, Camerata and Southern Cross Soloists, as well as its own program of commissioned performing arts festivals including Out of the Box and Clancestry.

The Premier advised .“This investment in a new theatre follows the recommendations of the detailed business case for a 1500-1700 seat theatre at this site, to be operated by QPAC, who will contribute $25 million to the new venue.

“A national design competition would be undertaken to deliver an outstanding architectural solution for the new theatre.

"The design for the new theatre within the Heritage Listed Queensland Cultural Centre, will also be guided by the Conservation Management Plan, which was developed by heritage consultants last year.

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