Brisbane secures unique Baroque Festival

Leo Schofield.The phenomenally successful Hobart Baroque early music festival is heading north. Inaugurated in 2013, the festival gained near-instantaneous nationwide critical and public acclaim and from 2015 will be known as Brisbane Baroque.

“Today I have announced the Australian Government is providing a special one-off grant of $100,000 to help support the Baroque Festival’s ongoing commitment to showcasing Australia’s emerging early classical musicians,” said Senator George Brandis, Federal Minister for the Arts.

Queensland’s Arts Minister Ian Walker said to help the Brisbane Baroque arrive in style, the state was financing a new production of Handel’s Faramondo from the world renowned Handel Festival in Gottingen, featuring the world’s leading young opera singers from the USA, Ireland, UK and the Ukraine.

“Our successful Super Star fund will add another dimension to our first festival,” Mr Walker said. “The last Baroque Festival in Hobart attracted nearly 10,000 people, with more than 40 percent travelling from overseas and interstate. We’ll do better than that.

“Brisbane’s casual sophistication, the centuries-old appeal of baroque music, and Faramondo performed by the world’s best young singers will combine to make this a standout event in Australia’s cultural calendar.”

Never before seen in Australia, Faramondo is one of Handel’s rarest operas and will be directed by Scottish NIDA graduate Paul Curran.

Executive Director Jarrod Carland praised Brisbane for its vision and for the collegiality of its cultural institutions.

“Not only will Brisbane Baroque feature leading overseas artists, it will also provide an opportunity to showcase the talents of young Australian and Queensland musicians,” said Mr Carland.

“This city aspires to be the cultural capital of Australia and in recent years has made huge strides towards that goal. Queenslanders certainly understand the value of cultural tourism which is why a unique festival of early music has such appeal,” says Mr Leo Schofield, Artistic Director of Brisbane Baroque.

Brisbane Baroque is supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, Arts Queensland, the Federal Ministry for the Arts, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Griffith University and Queensland Conservatorium, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School.

The event will debut in Brisbane on Friday 10 April and run until Saturday 18 April, with tickets on sale Monday 9 February. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Mr Leo Schofield AM, Artistic Director of Brisbane Baroque