Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) is ‘bringing the world to Brisbane’ with the newly curated QPAC International Series. Last year Aussie Theatre reported on the announcement of the series by former Premier Anna Bligh, with its aim to bring world renown performances to Brisbane audiences over the next four years.
“This will be the first time any of these companies have ever performed in Australia,” Ms Bligh excitedly spoke of the planned 2012 Hamburg Series, “and they are making their debut right here in Brisbane – and Brisbane only – which is a real coup”.
Almost one year and a change of Government later, the envisaged Hamburg Series is in full swing bringing not one but three of Europe’s leading performance companies to QPAC: The Hamburg State Opera, Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hamburg Ballet (starring one of the world’s leading ballerinas Alina Cojocaru of the Royal Ballet Company).
Led by Choreographer and Artistic Director of The Hamburg Ballet, John Neumeier, the season started on 23 August and will conclude on September 5 and has seen two delightful performances of Wagner’s Das Rheingold by the Hamburg State Opera with the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra, a single performance by the Hamburg Philharmonic of Mahler’s Symphony No 2 – Resurrection, and performances of John Neumeier’s Nijinsky and A Midsummer Night’s Dream by The Hamburg Ballet.
There is plenty of local involvement in this international line-up with acclaimed Australian conductor, Simone Young who has continued to make her international mark on music as the General Manager and Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Music Director of the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Young is recognised as a leading conductor of her generation and is the first female to conduct the complete Ring Cycle of Richard Wagner.
A range of choristers from fourteen choirs across South-East Queensland also joined in the performance of the last movement of the Resurrection Symphony. The specially created choir was named the Brisbane Mahler Chorus, with Emily Cox appointed as Chorus Master. The Brisbane Chorale provided the core of the choir with around ninety of its members taking part in the performance.
The QPAC International Series features nationally exclusive main stage performance seasons from the world’s best performing artists, a curated program of special events, classes, talks and related activities. The Hamburg Season is the first event in the QPAC International Series, and is a partnership between QPAC and Events Queensland.
There are still a few performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Hamburg Ballet to close out the 2012 Series, book last minute tickets at www.qpac.com.au otherwise keep an ear out for what’s in store for 2013.