Patrick Nolan appointed Artistic Director of Opera Queensland

OperaQ Patrick NolanAward winning Australian director Patrick Nolan has been appointed as the new Artistic Director of Opera Queensland and will relocate to Brisbane to commence on 1 November 2017.

Mr Nolan is a prolific director of opera, theatre, physical theatre and large-scale outdoor events, as well as the former Artistic Director of internationally acclaimed company Legs On The Wall. In a career spanning nearly three decades, he has directed for many of Australia’s major performing arts companies and internationally for Seattle and New Zealand Opera.

Mr Nolan has created work for every major city festival in Australia, including the Helpmann Award winning Kura Tungar-Songs from the River with Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter and the Australian Art Orchestra for Melbourne Festival and A Flowering Tree by John Adams for Perth Festival.

The new Australian opera he created with Paul Grabowsky and Joanna Murray-Smith, Love in the Age of Therapy, for Opera Australia, Melbourne Festival and Sydney Festival was also Helpmann nominated.

As Artistic Director of Legs On The Wall, Mr Nolan transformed the company’s artistic program and financial viability, establishing it as one of the country’s busiest cultural exports. During his five-years at Legs On The Wall, revenue increased 75 per cent and eight new productions toured far and wide, attracting audiences of more than 50,000 in Australia, Asia, UK and Latin America.

In 2015 he was awarded a prestigious Australia Council Fellowship to research the creation of performance in public spaces. He serves on the Sydney Chamber Opera board, a role that fuels his passion for new opera.

Dr Sally Pitkin, Chair, Opera Queensland, said Mr Nolan’s multidisciplinary creative works ranging from baroque to contemporary opera, large scale events, and physical theatre, together with his commitment to collaboration and community engagement, made him the clear choice to lead the company.

“As Artistic Director Patrick will be an extraordinary contributor to the Queensland arts community and the national cultural landscape. We are excited by his vision for the company, his passion for opera and his deep commitment to engaging all communities in Queensland with this vibrant artform. All of this together with his understanding of new audiences and how to engage them in spaces from the most intimate venue to the largest public arena, to new digital channels, made him the standout candidate.”

Mr Nolan said opera’s combination of story, staging and song creates a multi-dimensional space in which we can feel our humanity. “As the new Artistic Director of OperaQ I want this space to be alive to the time we are living in and open to audiences of all ages and walks of life,” he said.

“I’m excited about working with local and international artists, in Brisbane and throughout regional Queensland, to create work that will allow us to experience opera as an artform that responds to the energy and diversity of the contemporary world – a world that is passionate, intense, tragic, joyous, complex, humane. I can’t wait to start the conversation.”

Finishing her term at the end of October, OperaQ’s current Artistic Director Lindy Hume welcomed Mr Nolan’s appointment. “Patrick Nolan is a splendid choice to be the next Artistic Director of Opera Queensland,” said Hume.

“His directorial skills and reputation as an arts leader and opera, theatre and events director of international stature are ideal credentials and skills to lead our company, and this extraordinary artform, into the future. I look forward to celebrating the company’s progress under his artistic leadership in the years to come.”

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Image: Patrick Nolan (supplied)