Opera Queensland 2022 Season Launch
Minister Enoch; Member for Moggill; Chair of Opera Queensland, Emeritus Professor David Siddle and Board Members; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I acknowledge that we are gathered this evening on Kurilpa, one of the great meeting traditional places for the First Australians of this region. I pay my respects to them and their descendants, and thank Shannon Ruska for his warm welcome.
Graeme and I are delighted to be with you for the launch of Opera Queensland’s 2022 season.
I am particularly pleased that tonight presents me with the perfect opportunity to confirm Graeme and I are very honoured to accept joint Patronage of Opera Queensland.
Like our vice-regal predecessor Patrons, we will take our responsibilities seriously, and we look forward to continuing their tradition of active support and advocacy.
Like all of you, I am very much looking forward to seeing Opera Queensland return confidently to full-scale, main stage productions next year.
The COVID-19 pandemic could have been an existential threat, but creativity, passion and innovative problem-solving are in this company’s very DNA.
Opera Queensland has repeatedly risen to challenges in the four decades since the inaugural season of Iolanthe in 1981, and it appears that the Fairy Queen may have cast an enduring spell back then because the past two years have seen a brilliant series of inventive and enterprising solutions that have enabled the company to continue to operate despite the pandemic.
There were performances delivered digitally; there was a virtual Aria a Day; there were opportunities for us all to learn an aria from home.
The company even delivered the most extensive regional tour ever, and presented the inaugural Festival of Outback Opera.
The very apt title of the company’s fortieth anniversary gala, earlier this year, was ‘Forty and Fabulous’. It’s a title that directly expresses the positive, forward-looking attitude that characterises this company.
That optimism is more infectious than COVID-19, and is evident in every aspect of the company’s operations, including the relationship with government and corporate partners, donors and patrons. They all understand the vital importance of a thriving arts sector.
Even the choice of this venue for tonight’s launch is an example of the attitude driving Opera Queensland today.
I would like to think that those European migrants who built this factory in 1928 would smile if they were told that, instead of ice cream, there are delicious musical treats being served here, almost a century later.
I look forward to hearing the details of the 2022 season and wish the company an exciting and successful year ahead.
I also now look forward to presenting Opera Queensland with a certificate of patronage. Thank you.