Originally published on A Younger Theatre
A disused water reservoir has been converted into a new underground opera venue in Brisbane, Australia.
Spring Hill Reservoir has been re-opened by The Underground Opera Company to create a unique space for a short season of performances, which ran from November 13 – 29.
Director Bruce Edwards first started the company to increase the profile of accessible opera in the area whilst still attracting the biggest names in the industry to come and perform. He said to the Australia Broadcasting Company: “We really like to break down the barriers between performer and audience.
“We’ve put four singers on stage, there’s no mikes – we don’t need it.”
The stage itself was built in the middle of an atrium surrounded by brick archways and tunnels protruding out in all directions.
Opera singer Judit Molnar said: “We [the singers] are in the middle. So we have to sing and play in four directions. The staging will be very unusual but I think amazing.”
The concert itself was designed to showcase the unusual space and give a variety of different genres for the audience to experience.
Nance Haxton was in attendance at the opening night, and she said: “It was very much a light opera set which was good for that type of audience. It wasn’t too heavy, there were definitely some challenging songs in there too but they [the singers] showed their chops.”
For more details, see ABC’s original interview with Edwards and Molnar.