Victorian Artists call on audiences to play their role in pandemic recovery

MSO-Meow-MeowArtists from Victoria’s diverse arts community have joined forces with some of Melbourne’s leading arts organisations to create an awareness campaign encouraging Victorians to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Conceived and delivered by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the campaign encourages audiences to play their part and get vaccinated against COVID-19 by giving the community their “performance of a lifetime”. The content is based on health communication theories and models to address vaccine hesitancy in the community.

“Whether we play in an orchestra, act within an ensemble or dance in the corps de ballet, it’s essential that we each perform to our highest standards in order to deliver the performance of a lifetime,” said MSO Managing Director Sophie Galaise.

“Along with our colleagues in the arts community, we are encouraging our audiences and the wider community to get vaccinated so we can all get back to doing what we love – whether that’s playing contact sports, enjoying a meal with our loved ones, or getting back on stage to entertain our treasured audiences.”

Written and directed by Emma Muir-Smith, the Performance of a Lifetime video features a stellar line-up of Melbourne-based performers including Deborah Cheetham AO, Tim Minchin, Meow Meow, Rhonda Burchmore OAM, Virginia Gay, Tripod, artists from The Australian Ballet, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Theatre Company, Short Black Opera and many more.

Applauded by the Victorian government, the campaign is based on health advice that mass vaccination is essential to preventing further lock downs and avoiding the need for social distancing and subsequent limited venue capacities.

Minister for Creative Industries, The Hon Danny Pearson MP recognised the MSO’s creative and community leadership. “Our arts community is doing everything they can to recover and reactivate and this campaign is a clever and creative way of encouraging audiences to play their role and get vaccinated,” he said.

“If you can get vaccinated, please book in or visit a Hub – the sooner we get vaccinated, the sooner we can get back to doing the things we love,” said Minister Pearson.

The social media campaign, which will also be aired at select MSO performances, was filmed at St Vincent’s Hospital Royal Exhibition Building Vaccination Hub and Arts Centre Melbourne and features archival footage from a range of arts organisations.

The video will include captions for priority languages recommended by the Department of Health – Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Mandarin, Punjabi and Vietnamese.

Special thanks to the artists and organisations who gave their time in the making of this video: Arts Centre Melbourne, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Opera, Melbourne Theatre Company, Short Black Opera, The Australian Ballet, Victorian Opera, St Vincent’s Hospital, Christian Bagin, Carlos Barcenas, Dale Barltrop, Shauntai Batzke, Benedict Bemet, Samuel Bortolazzo, Rhonda Burchmore, Deborah Cheetham, Matthew Chin, Wendy Clarke, Anthony de Masi, Nadine Dimitrievich, Virginia Gay, Kathleen Halloran, Robyn Hendricks, Miss Jay, Callum Linnane, Bailey McMillan, Meow Meow, Tim Minchin, Geetanjali Mishra, Bede Nash, Yiana Pandelis, Kurt Pimblett, Belinda Prakhoff, Sophie Rowell, Priya Srinasavan, Matthew Tomkins, Kurt Pimblett, Matthew Tng, Tripod (Scott Edgar, Simon Hall, Steven Gates), Emma Vize, Ian Wildsmith, Aaron Wyatt.

Image: Meow Meow – courtesy of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra