Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) has announced its annual Spirit of Christmas concerts will proceed in 2020 with three concerts featuring a specially adapted program of songs and music, offering audiences a joyful and uplifting experience on 18 and 19 December in the Concert Hall.
QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said that challenging times highlight the importance of family and friends and taking time to reflect and connect through festive traditions.
“Presented every year since QPAC opened in 1985, and in fact even before we opened with a special concert for the QPAC construction workers, Spirit of Christmas has become a much-loved annual tradition for Queensland and visiting families,” said Mr Kotzas.
“Each year QPAC brings together an exceptional line up of artists and our 2020 Spirit of Christmas, which will round off our 35th birthday year, will be no exception.”
“We are pleased to announce two of Australia’s leading musical theatre stars, Amy Lehpamer and Josh Piterman as headline artists, to be joined by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the 28?voice QPAC Chamber Choir and a host of other special guests.”
“Christmas is a time to celebrate, reflect, give and receive. With the recently announced easing of restrictions, we are pleased that more people will be able to take in these special concerts with their loved ones and cherished friends,” said Mr Kotzas.
Making her Spirit of Christmas debut, Amy Lehpamer is well known to musical theatre fans with stage credits including Maria in The Sound of Music, Dusty Springfield in Dusty and Cynthia Weil in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, for which she won a Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a supporting Role in a Musical.
Most recently she wowed audiences as Principal Mullins in the Australian tour of School of Rock the Musical. Usually residing in Victoria, it is fortuitous that Amy has been based in Queensland since February, so can bring her vocal talent to this year’s concert series.
Audiences are equally lucky the acclaimed Josh Piterman will return to Spirit of Christmas after his 2018 debut. Josh launched his impressive career with international pop opera group, The Ten Tenors then made his mark as Tony in the 2010 Australian production of West Side Story.
Last in Australia playing the role of Gerry Goffin in the Australian tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Josh will literally arrive in Brisbane fresh from London (via hotel quarantine), where he has been playing the role of The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera.
Esteemed international conductor, Dane Lam will feature in QPAC’s Spirit of Christmas concerts for the first time leading the magnificent musicians of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
Based overseas for the past ten years, Brisbane-born Dane’s return to Brisbane in July affords audiences another opportunity to experience a talented Australian artist normally not performing here in Queensland.
Other special guests include Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University Musical Theatre Graduates, Danielle Remulata and Liam J. Kirkpatrick and Year 9 St Laurence’s College student and head chorister at St Stephen’s Cathedral, boy soprano Miles Le Goullon.
Aunty Ruth Ghee will open each concert with a First Nations blessing and song and Salvation Army’s Major Scott Allen will deliver the Christmas message. QPAC’s Spirit of Christmas concerts are an occasion to enjoy uplifting songs, be inspired by Christmas’ enduring message of love and peace and enjoy much loved Christmas carols.
Spirit of Christmas
Concert Hall – QPAC, Queensland Cultural Centre, South Bank (Brisbane)
Performances: 18 & 19 December 2020
Information and Bookings: www.qpac.com.au
Image: QPAC’s Spirit of Christmas 2019 – photo by Darren Thomas