History of Opera Queensland

Opera Queensland was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee in June 1981 as The Lyric Opera of Queensland Limited (LOQ) with funding from the Queensland Government as “a company for the presentation of performances of opera, light opera and music theatre”.

History of Opera Queensland
1981-1982

Lyric Opera of Queensland incorporated. First season at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Brisbane.

Iolanthe by Gilbert & Sullivan

La Belle Hélène by Offenbach

Il trovatore by Verdi

Così fan tutte by Mozart

A Gala Night of Song (Concert)

1983

Fidelio by Beethoven

The Merry Widow by Lehár

The Flying Dutchman by Wagner (Concert)

Faust by Gounod (Concert)

The Creation by Haydn (Concert)

Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci by Mascagni/Leoncavallo

Strauss Beneath the Stars (Concert)

1984

The Glory of Opera (Concert)

The Daughter of the Regiment by Donizetti (Concert)

1985 – 1986

The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart

Aida by Verdi

Orpheus in the Underworld by Offenbach

Move to Lyric Theatre in newly-opened QPAC. Merivale Street premises purchased.

La bohème by Puccini

The Barber of Seville by Rossini

Rigoletto by Verdi

1987

Regional Touring and Young Artist Program established.

La traviata by Verdi

Don Pasquale by Donizetti

The Student Prince by Romberg

Madama Butterfly by Puccini

Verdi Requiem (Concert)

1988

Aida by Verdi

Die Fledermaus by Strauss (Concert)

Tosca by Puccini

The Gondoliers by Gilbert & Sullivan

1989

Salome by Strauss

The Abduction from the Seraglio by Mozart

Carmen by Bizet

Broadway Melody (Concert)

Donald Smith Gala Concert

1990

The Flying Dutchman by Wagner

Broadway Melody (Concert)

Il trovatore by Verdi

La bohème by Puccini

1991

Faust by Gounod

A Tribute to Mozart (Concert)

La traviata by Verdi

The Pearl Fishers by Bizet

1992

The Barber of Seville by Rossini

Rossini Gala (Concert)

Love Burns by Koehne

Don Giovanni by Mozart

Madama Butterfly by Puccini

10th Anniversary Gala (Concert)

1993

Oedipus Rexby by Stravinsky

Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti

Broadway Melody (Concert)

Così fan tutte by Mozart

The Force of Destiny by Verdi

1994

1994 activities included Opera Queensland’s first venture into commercial theatre with Essgee Entertainment and QPAC in the presentation of The Pirates of Penzance. Since 1995, LOQ/OQ has presented 11 of the 15 Opera Conference productions commissioned to date.

First schools’ opera, Aesop’s Fables, co-production of Eugene Onegin with Victoria State Opera and first Opera Conference production, Falstaff.

Opera Queensland celebrates its name change and relocation to new South Bank premises with a new production of Don Giovanni which then toured regional Queensland.

Teresa Berganza (Concert) – Presented in association with Andrew McKinnon & ABC Fine Music

Rigoletto by Verdi

The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert & Sullivan – Presented in association with Essgee Melodies

Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky

The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart

An Evening with Jeffrey Black (Concert)

Stars of Australian Opera (Concert) – Presented in association with NARPACA

1995

Victoria de Los Angeles (Concert) – Presented in association with Andrew McKinnon

Tosca by Puccini

Love is in the Air (Concert) – Presented in association with Queensland Arts Council

The Secret Garden by Simon & Norman – Presented in association with John Frost and Queensland Performing Arts Trust

Carmen by Bizet

The Magic Flute by Mozart

1996

In 1996 the company changed its name to Opera Queensland and relocated its offices and rehearsal studio into new, purpose-built premises in the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University at South Bank. Since 1996 the company’s annual program has included a production presented in the Conservatorium Theatre.

Yvonne Kenny & Leslie Howard In Concert – Presented in association with Andrew McKinnon

Otello by Verdi

Hansel & Gretel by Humperdinck

Don Giovanni by Mozart

Turandot by Puccini

Classic Chorus Concert

1997

Young Artist Program re-established

Samson et Dalila by Saint-Saëns

La bohème by Puccini

Don Pasquale by Donizetti Regional Tour – Presented in association with Queensland Arts Council

Falstaff by Verdi

1998

Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II

Faust by Gounod

L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love) by Donizetti

Julius Caesar by Handel

1999

Madama Butterfly by Puccini

Coro Magnifico! (Concert)

Just for You (Concert; presented in association with Queensland Arts Council)

The Barber of Seville by Rossini

La traviata by Verdi

The Last Concert of the Millennium (Concert)

2000

Bryn Terfel Concert. Produced by IMG and Harlequin in association with Opera Queensland

Il trovatore by Verdi

Celestial Reflections (Concert)

Così fan tutte by Mozart

The Mikado by Gilbert & Sullivan

2001

In 2001 the Federal Government joined the Queensland Government to support the Company’s core program following the implementation of recommendations of the Major Performing Arts Inquiry

Centenary of Federation World Premiere of Stephen Leek’s Seeking True South

Elysian Visions (Concert)

The Magic Flute by Mozart

The Heartland Tour (Concert) – Presented in association with Queensland Arts Council)

Coro Magnifico! II (Concert)

Rigoletto by Verdi. Produced by OzOpera; presented by arrangement with Opera Australia

Seeking True South by Leek

The Pearl Fishers by Bizet

2002 - Opera Queensland celebrates two decades

Moving Opera! Program established – In April 2002, Opera Queensland piloted its Moving Opera! program with students from Brisbane State High School. This in-school residency vocal and drama workshop enables students to work with industry professionals and be introduced to the world of music theatre and build personal confidence and presentation skills

The Damnation of Faust by Berlioz (Concert)

Renée Fleming in Recital (Concert) – Presented by IMG in association with Opera Queensland

Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana Leoncavallo: Pagliacci

Cinderella by Rossini

Andrea Chénier by Giordano

2003

Verdi Requiem (Concert) – Presented in association with The Queensland Orchestra

Tosca by Puccini

Don Giovanni by Mozart

Moonlight, Mozart & the Movies (Concert) – Presented in association with Queensland Arts Council

Sweeney Todd by Sondheim

2004

Bryn Terfel in Recital – Presented by IMG and International Concert Attractions in association with Opera Queensland

Carmen by Bizet

The Creation by Haydn (Concert) – Presented in association with Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University

Don Pasquale by Donizetti

The Food of Love (Concert)

A Masked Ball by Verdi

2005

La bohème by Puccini

The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten

The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart

Strike up the Chorus! (Concert) – Presented in association with Australian Army Band Brisbane

The Food of Love regional tour presented in association with Queensland Arts Council

Barker, Coleman-Wright and Lane in Recital – Presented by Musica Viva Australia in association with Opera Queensland

2006

Romeo and Juliet by Gounod

Die Fledermaus by Strauss

Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti

Die Fledermaus Regional tour

Porgy and Bess by Gershwin (presented by Living Arts, Inc and Andrew McKinnon Presentations in association with Opera Queensland)

Yvonne Kenny, A Touch of Venus concert (presented by Musica Viva Australia in association with Opera Queensland)

2007

Opera Queensland, QPAC and QMF collaborate with Perth International Arts Festival, West Australian Opera and Victorian Opera to present the World Premiere season of Richard Mills’ The Love of the Nightingale

Madama Butterfly by Puccini

Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck

Nabucco by Verdi

The Food of Love Regional Tour – Presented in association with Queensland Arts Council

2008

The Barber of Seville by Rossini

The Magic Flute by Mozart

Turandot by Puccini

The Magic Flute – Regional Tour

Barker, Coleman-Wright and Lane in Recital – Presented by Musica Viva Australia in association with Opera Queensland

2009

La traviata by Verdi

Fidelio by Beethoven

Rigoletto by Verdi

David Hobson and Teddy Tahu Rhodes in Recital – Presented by Andrew McKinnon in association with Opera Queensland

Dirty Apple – An Opera Queensland production in collaboration with Backbone Youth Arts and co-produced by Q150, Queensland Music Festival, Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University and Queensland Performing Arts Centre

Waltzing our Matilda – Brisbane performances and Regional Tour

2010

The Elixir of Love by Donizetti

The Merry Widow by Lehár

Aida by Verdi

The Merry Widow Regional tour

2011

The Girl of the Golden West (La fanciulla del West) by Puccini

Così fan tutte by Mozart

Tosca by Puccini

Andreas Scholl (Concert) – Presented by Musica Viva in association with Opera Queensland

Waltzing Our Matilda – Brisbane performance and regional tour

David Hobson and Teddy Tahu Rhodes in Concert – Presented by Andrew McKinnon in association with Opera Queensland

2012 - 10th anniversary of Moving Opera!

Macbeth by Verdi (Concert)

The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan – Brisbane performances and Regional Tour

Carmen by Bizet

2013 - Artistic Director Lindy Hume's premiere season

St Matthew Passion by Bach

Cinderella, or Goodness Triumphant by Rossini

Otello by Verdi

ABANDON – New collaboration between OperaQ Studio and Dancenorth. Premiered in Townsville.

Waltzing our Matilda – Regional Tour

Opera at Jimbour with Queensland Music Festival

Opera on the Riverstage with Brisbane Festival

Verdi Gala (Concert)

A year of partnerships with companies including Camerata of St John’s, New Zealand Opera, and Dancenorth

2014

Launch of Project Puccini – a world-first initiative by Opera Queensland, giving hundreds of Queenslanders in eight regional centres the opportunity to perform in the chorus of a new production of Puccini’s La bohème.

Rigoletto by Verdi

La bohème by Puccini (Brisbane performances)

Project Puccini – La bohème Regional Tour

The Perfect American by Glass – Presented in collaboration with Brisbane Festival

ABANDON – as part of World Theatre Festival 2014

2015

Cloud Song – Cloudland night club series

La traviata by Verdi

A Morning with Emily and Hayley

Die Fledermaus by Strauss – Opera at Jimbour

Candide by Bernstein

FiZZ! Primary school touring production

The Adventures of Figaro based on Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. A new performing version by Lindy Hume and Craig Allister Young

OperaQ Gala

The Bulimba Opera (OperaQ & Blue Roo Theatre Company)

IGA Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols

2016

Madama Butterfly by Puccini

The Barber of Seville by Rossini

Project Rossini – The Barber of Seville Regional Tour

Snow White – a new production co-created by Suzie Miller, Zulya Kamalova and Lindy Hume – Presented by Opera Queensland, La Boite Theatre Company and Brisbane Festival

OperaQ Gala

Kiss Me, Kate by Cole Porter

FiZZ! Primary school touring production

Open Stage Workshops – Adult and Youth

Orpheus & Eurydice – Presented by OperaQ & Blue Roo Theatre Company

2017 - Artistic Director Patrick Nolan appointed

Under the direction of CEO & Artistic Director Patrick Nolan since 2017, Opera Queensland is committed to celebrating the inherent strengths of the canon, actively engaging artists of the highest calibre to develop and reinvigorate the art form through a contemporary lens. Celebrating and interrogating the extraordinary energy that opera creates, Patrick Nolan’s programming features a balanced repertoire of Classic, Contemporary and Future works.

The Pearl Fishers

Mozart Airborne

An Afternoon with Jason Barry-Smith

Ruddigore or The Witch’s Curse!

Carmen in Concert featuring Queensland Symphony Orchestra

2018

Dido & Aeneas

Don Giovanni

The Merry Widow

Opera Romance

Opera Queensland Gala – All That Glitters

Peter Grimes – Presented with Brisbane Festival

Ruddigore or The Witch’s Curse! Regional Tour – Gold Coast, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns and Toowoomba

Reprise

Hansel & Gretel

Sing with Opera Queensland workshops

Songs of Belonging

Composed in Queensland

Opera in the Vineyards

2019

NOW – New Opera Workshop

Project AR-ia – with Google Creative Lab

A Flowering Tree

Songs to Die For

Tosca by Puccini

Orpheus & Eurydice by Gluck

Verdi Requiem

Opera at Jimbour

Nicole Carr

Oscar & Lucinda

Hansel & Gretel

Sing Sing Sing

Sing with Opera Queensland Workshops

Alex Rainer and Alexandra Flood in Recital

New works in development:

  • RIOT
  • Dancing the Line
  • Songs to Die For
  • Three Marys
2020

Opera Queensland Studio Series –

  • Hayley Sugars: Songs of Desire
  • Alex Raineri and Peter Bassett: Wagner, His Contemporaries and Followers
  • Bradley Daley: Songs of Wagner and Strauss
  • Jason Barry-Smith: A Life in Many Parts
  • Jose Carbo: A Musical Life

ENCORE – Opera Queensland Returns to the Stage

Opera Queensland Under the Stars

An Aria A Day and Virtual Sing Sing Sing – digital programming in response to Coivd-19

Hansel & Gretel: In-person and digital delivery in response to Covid-19

Learn an Aria from Home – digital programming in response to Covid-19

TOSCA Te Deum – Regional Community Chorus project

2020 Gala – An Exquisite Night with Opera Queensland

Songs at Sunset and Carols in the Common concerts at West Village

Sing with Opera Queensland Workshops 

2021 - CEO & Artistic Director Patrick Nolan reappointed

Lorelei presented by arrangement with Victorian Opera

The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart

VERDI (Concert)

Opera Queensland Studio Series –

  • Jane Sheldon and Alex Raineri: Songs of Love and Death
  • Kang Wang and John Woods: Secret – A Love That Never Was
  • Deborah Cheetham AO and Toni Lalich OAM: Songs My Mother Sang to Me
  • Gregory Massingham and Stephen Emmerson: Winterreise
  • Eva Kong and Alex Raineri: Death Becomes Her
  • Sarah Crane, Shaun Brown and Alex Raineri: A Poet’s Love
  • Alexandra Flood and Alex Raineri: Eastern Promises
  • The Frog Prince – schools touring production presented in partnership with shake & stir theatre co.

The Frog Prince – Opera Queensland Studio season September 2021

La bohème – schools touring production presented in partnership with shake & stir theatre co.

La bohème – Opera Queensland Studio season September 2021

’40 & Fabulous’ – 40th anniversary gala

Are You Lonesome Tonight – most extensive Opera Queensland Regional Tour ever. World premiere at Beef Australia, Rockhampton May 2021

The Inaugural Festival of Outback Opera

Sing Sing Sing at the Emporium Hotel South Bank – the home of Sing Sing Sing

Virtual Sing Sing Sing in response to Covid-19

Sing with Opera Queensland Workshops