The Queensland Performing Arts Centre
(also known as QPAC
) is part of the Queensland Cultural Centre
and is a performing arts
centre located amidst the picturesque surroundings of South Bank
, on the corner of Melbourne Street and Grey Street, in Queensland
, near the Brisbane Central Business District
QPAC was designed by local architect Robin Gibson in the mid- 1970’s, after State Cabinet formally recognised in 1972 the need for a new Queensland Art Gallery and a new major Performing Arts Complex, in addition to a new location for the Queensland Museum and State Library. It was opened by HRH The Duke of Kent in 1985.
Though the building has been in existence for over twenty years, its historical roots run deep in that the entire Queensland Cultural Centre is situated on the site of one of Queensland’s most illustrious theatres, the "Cremorne".
Established in 1911, this legendary theatre was owned and operated by John Neil McCallum, the father of distinguished Australian actor, John McCallum, who recalls the building originally as “an open-air theatre named the "Cremorne Gardens", where the most famous vaudeville stars of the day played” . The Cremorne’s major period ran from the early 1920's, with Australian stage legends Roy Rene, Will Mahoney and Evie Hayes, George Wallace and the Cremorne Ballet girls, and lasted until 1954, when the structure burnt down.
Performance and other facilities
The Queensland Performing Arts Centre consists of four theatres or auditoriums, all venues for live performances.
- The Lyric Theatre is a horseshoe-shaped proscenium theatre which seats up to 2,085. It is Brisbane's main venue for operas, ballets and musicals. It has received critical acclaim for its design, and hosts many international performances. The premiere production at the Lyric Theatre was "La belle Hélène". The Lyric Theatre is the main venue for opera performances by Opera Queensland.
- The Concert Hall is primarily designed for orchestral performances, although it also hosts a variety of other events and performances from jazz to stand-up comedy, graduation ceremonies and award presentations. The 6,500 pipe Klais Grand Organ is the central architectural focus of the hall. The Concert Hall seats up to 1,800 and is the home venue for The Queensland Orchestra.
- The Cremorne Theatre is a reconfigurable flexible performance space with six configurations (proscenium, theatre-in-the-round, concert, cabaret, cinema or flat floor) up to 302 seats in theatre mode. It is especially suited to creative productions, experimental theatre, one-man plays, revues, lectures and product launches. It is, along with the Playhouse, a major venue for the Queensland Theatre Company.
- The Playhouse is a state-of-the art venue offering cutting edge technology and stage design in a traditional proscenium theatre. It features a flexible proscenium arch, large main and rear stages, side stage, apron, orchestra pit, a Biltflor sprung dance floor, direct dock-to-stage loading and seating for 850 patrons. Geoffrey Rush starred as Figaro in the Beaumarchais play The Marriage of Figaro (the play on which Mozart's opera was based) for the Playhouse's opening production in September, 1998. It is, along with the Cremorne Theatre, a major venue for the Queensland Theatre Company.
The Queensland Performing Arts Centre is the main cultural area of Brisbane City. It is an important area for the entertainment sector and nightlife of Brisbane.