BLEACH* and Opera Queensland announce a new collaboration to create an Opera inspired by a local story presented as part of BLEACH* 2022.

WORDS: Gabrielle Wilson PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied - BLEACH

Home Grown Opera is earmarked to be a highlight of the festival when BLEACH* makes its much-anticipated return in August 2022. An entirely new production, the Opera will be an unprecedented showcase of local talent in an ambitious celebration of stories from the region.

BLEACH* and Opera Queensland are inviting local raconteurs and storytellers to share stories connected to the Gold Coast. These will then become inspiration for the creation of the Opera.

Locals are invited to pitch their ideas via an open call for proposals this month. Stories can be fact or fiction with the successful proposal to be chosen by a panel of arts leaders from the community and Opera Queensland.

This new Opera is an exceptional professional development opportunity for local artists. The winning story will be developed by a professional librettist and composer over a series of creative developments in the months ahead. The end result will be shared with audiences at BLEACH* 2022 festival.

BLEACH* festival Artistic Director Rosie Dennis, said: ‘As part of our BLEACH* 2022 program we are thrilled to be collaborating with Opera Queensland on a new work connected to the incredible Gold Coast. Stories connect us and serve as a reminder of the bigger community we’re part of. I can’t wait to share this work with audiences come August 2022.’

Opera Queensland Artistic Director Patrick Nolan said: ‘Opera at its simplest is stories told through song. For Season 2022, Opera Queensland has set out to reposition opera as a vital part of the cultural conversation. Working with BLEACH*, who are renowned for creating experiences and telling stories that are uniquely connected to place, resonated strongly with this purpose.

We are very excited about the cultural energy Home Grown Opera will bring to the Gold Coast and the opportunities it provides to local artists and audiences.’

Opera Queensland Director of Learning, Regional and Community, Mark Taylor said: ‘Opera Queensland delivers innovative and engaging experiences for our audiences right across Queensland, our stage is the whole of Queensland and we’re thrilled to be back on the Gold Coast.

We are excited to see what this partnership brings with two Queensland arts organisations working with Queensland artists to tell stories about their home and ours.’

As it celebrates its 11th festival in 2022 and nearly one million attendees, BLEACH* has firmly established itself as one of the most exciting regional arts festivals in Australia today. When it was established a decade ago, the festival was created at a time when the Gold Coast was considered a cultural desert. Determined to turn that image around and shine a light on local artists, a collective of the city’s creatives saw an opportunity, and so the beginnings of BLEACH* Festival was born in 2012.

Artistic Director Rosie Dennis joined the team in 2020. In spite of facing lockdown challenges across the past two years, the Director says the festival team are thrilled to be back in 2022. Organisers say BLEACH* 2022 will continue to break boundaries, promising a wildly diverse and cutting-edge program of art, music and performance, all framed by the magnificent, Southern Queensland coastline, creating artistic precincts across the region from the ocean to the green hinterland behind the golden sands.

Placemakers* Gold Coast is supported by the City of Gold Coast as a foundation partner, the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Communities, Housing, and Digital Economy.

BLEACH* Festival 2022 is supported by the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

Head to bleachfestival.com.au/homegrowneoi/ to submit your proposal before Friday, 4th March
to be considered for Home Grown Opera.

BLEACH* is the Gold Coast’s annual contemporary arts festival. The festival has a growing national and international reputation for creating experiences and telling stories that are out of the box, authentic and uniquely connected to place. BLEACH* is proudly local, celebrating the city’s best artists, welcoming renowned Australian and international artists through a range of art experiences.

Opera Queensland’s vision is to grow a community connected by the transformative power of opera.

Under the direction of CEO & Artistic Director Patrick Nolan since 2017, Opera Queensland has created a vibrant and sustainable program of classic, contemporary and new work by diverse artists for diverse audiences across Queensland and beyond.

Celebrating the inherent strengths of the canon and interrogating the extraordinary energy that opera creates, the company engages artists of the highest calibre to develop and reinvigorate the art form through a contemporary lens.

Opera Queensland serves Australia’s most decentralised state, connecting with metropolitan audiences and regional and remote centres through a rich array of performances, education activities and community programs. The company’s annual program serves audiences from first time opera goers to diehard supporters, primary and secondary school students, First Nations
communities and people with disability, welcoming anyone who curious or passionate about the power of opera to transform the way we understand ourselves and each other.

Opera Queensland has been central to the evolution of the art form in Queensland, nurturing the careers of some of the country’s most renowned artists, including Lisa Gasteen, Rosario La Spina,Kate Miller-Heidke, Kiandra Howarth, Kang Wang and Kanen Breen.