Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch and Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones on Sunday announced the famous company will perform exclusively in Brisbane as part of the 2018 Queensland Performing Art Centre (QPAC) International Series, running from November 7 to 18.
The 2018 event will feature an extensive program celebrating Italian arts and culture on and off the stage.
Bringing their 110-strong company - including more than 70 dancers - to QPAC’s Lyric Theatre, La Scala Ballet will perform two iconic productions, both much-loved and stunning works of the classical repertoire: Rudolf Nureyev’s festive Don Quixote, and the haunting Giselle, with music performed live by Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
Since its inception in 2009, the QPAC International Series has been supported by the Queensland Government with funding from Tourism and Events Queensland.
Ms Enoch said Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company was one of the oldest and most renowned ballet companies in the world.
“Teatro alla Scala has a long history of working with the world’s best dancers, choreographers and creatives and to have 75 dancers from the company come to perform only in Queensland for its first ever Australian season is a massive coup,” she said.
Alongside Teatro alla Scala’s compelling Principal Dancers, Nicoletta Manni and Claudio Coviello, superstar guest artists to appear at the QPAC International Series include: David Hallberg, Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre; Leonid Sarafanov, Principal Dancer at Mikhailovsky Theatre; and Maria Eichwald, Principal Dancer at Stuttgarter Ballet and international guest for some of the world’s most prestigious companies.
The cast mix will enchant audiences as Nicoletta Manni partners with David Hallberg and Maria Eichwald pairs with Claudio Coviello in Giselle, and Leonid Sarafanov partners with Nicoletta Manni in Don Quixote.
Minister for Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones said Teatro alla Scala would be a strong drawcard for the 2018 QPAC International Series.
“Attracting this level of international talent exclusively to Queensland cements our State’s reputation as a vibrant cultural destination,” Minister Jones said.
“Since 2009 the QPAC International Series has welcomed the world’s finest performance companies and with approximately a third of audiences travelling from outside of Brisbane, this event has contributed over $20 million to the Queensland economy.”
General Manager of Teatro alla Scala Maria Di Freda said the realisation of the company’s tour to Australia at QPAC in Brisbane was a cause of enormous pride and satisfaction.
“It is our first ever presence in a theatre in Oceania and since Teatro alla Scala’s very first tour in 1878 to Paris, our activity abroad represents a real passion that has led us to stage opera, ballet and concert performances in 39 countries, comprising 152 projects and 841 curtain openings,” Ms Di Freda said.
“For our part, as we always do, we will make every effort to win over the public of Australia, a nation linked to Italy by very strong ties!”
Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote is one of the true signature pieces of Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company and will showcase sparkling choreography and virtuoso performances.
Based on episodes of Cervantes’ classic novel and set to Ludwig Minkus’ magical score, audiences will be transported to a bright and enchanting Spain replete with gypsy dances, fandangos, matadors and windmills.
A tale of unrequited love, betrayal and redemption, Giselle is the quintessential classical ballet, which continues to thrill audiences with its tragic story of an innocent peasant girl who dies of a broken heart upon learning her beloved is engaged to someone else.
Adolphe Adam’s score brings this otherworldly tale to vivid life.
Beyond its performances on stage, Teatro alla Scala’s reach will be amplified by a program of events and activities including conversations, masterclasses, community participation projects, exhibitions, access to dress rehearsals for students and more under the banner of La Scala Plus.
The program will also explore historical and contemporary Italian culture, impact and influence across multiple disciplines including fashion, design, food and film.
QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said witnessing Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company in Brisbane was something worth travelling for.
“This is a rare opportunity for audiences to see ballet of an exceptional quality with the company’s own stars and stars of tomorrow, sharing the stage with big name, international guest artists.”