Queensland Performing Arts Centre
The Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) is at the corner of Grey Street and Melbourne Street in South Bank, Brisbane. It is part of the larger Queensland Cultural Centre. It is easily accessible from the Cultural Centre bus station, the two South Bank ferry wharves, and South Brisbane Railway Station. You can easily get from the Brisbane CBD to the QPAC just by crossing the Victoria Bridge. The centre has its own parking structure so you can easily find a space. However, the parking at the centre is a bit expensive, so you are better off taking advantage of public transportation or parking elsewhere and walking to the QPAC.
The QPAC is Queensland’s biggest and most prestigious facility that is dedicated to the performance arts. Queensland's state cabinet approved the construction of the art gallery and the art centre in the early 70s, and by the mid-70s, a working design was finalized and construction began. The QPAC was officially opened by the Duke of Kent in 1985. Over the years since it was first established, it has hosted some of the world’s most renowned orchestras, opera acts, ballet companies, and theatrical productions. Some of the most memorable productions that have been staged at the QPAC include Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia!, Chicago, and Cats. Whenever big national and international companies bring their acts to Queensland, the QPAC is always their venue of choice. The QPAC is open all year round except for some holidays, and most performances are usually staged at night.
The venues at the QPAC
The QPAC has 4 major venues and performance spaces, namely the Lyric Theatre, the Concert Hall, the Playhouse, and Cremorne Theatre. The Lyric Theatre is the largest of the 4, and it has a capacity of roughly 2,000. It’s a proscenium theatre, and whenever a big opera, ballet or musical production comes to town, this is where it’s staged. The Concert Hall is the second largest performance space with a capacity of 1,600. It’s mostly used for orchestra performances, and it has a one-of-a-kind organ with more than 6,500 pipes. The Concert Hall is also often used for comedy shows, and it’s occasionally rented out for award shows, graduation ceremonies, and other festive events. The Playhouse has a capacity of about 850, and the Cremorne Theatre accommodates about 250 people on average. Apart from the 4 spaces, the QPAC has an exhibition space called the Tony Gould Gallery. The gallery usually features exhibits that are related to both past and current productions.
The program at the QPAC
It’s estimated that the QPAC hosts about 1000 productions and performances every year. In this decade alone, the centre has hosted some of the world’s biggest ballet companies, including the Hamburg Ballet, the Royal Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre, and the Bolshoi Ballet. The QPAC is affiliated with many Queensland-based production entities, including the Queensland Theatre Company, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Ballet, Queensland Youth Orchestra, and Opera Queensland. All of these organisations frequently stage their acts at the QPAC. If you wish to watch shows by these and many other groups, you can check the calendar and purchase tickets at the official website of the QPAC (https://www.qpac.com.au/).
Dining options at the QPAC
The QPAC has an in-house restaurant called Lyrebird, as well as several bars. You can eat at the restaurant either before or after the performance you’ve come to see. If you want to eat before your show starts, you are better off making a reservation and showing up early enough to avoid missing the start of the show. The QPAC also has a wine bar that serves tapas plates and high-quality wines from different countries across the worlds. The foyer at the QPAC is lined with bars where you can get snacks during the interludes if the show is really long.