Opera ballet

The Paris Opera Ballet will perform exclusively at QPAC in 2020

Header photo by Agathe Poupeney .

While theater fans in Melbourne and Sydney now enjoy timed or fully exclusive access almost every year to a number of major musicals in their respective states, supported by their respective government tourism organisations, the approach is a little different in Brisbane. . Almost every year since 2009, under the leadership of longtime chief executive John Kotzas, the Queensland Performing Arts Center (QPAC) has held its International Series.

Attracting world-renowned ballet companies including the Royal Ballet, Ballet Preljocaj, Teatro Alla Scala and the ‘mighty’ Bolshoi Ballet – this annual inclusion in Brisbane’s cultural calendar not only brings world-class performances exclusively to Queensland , but is complemented by a host of events, including opening galas, exhibitions, live simulcasts at regional venues, and essentially a residency model for the artists involved in organizing the show.

In what may be their last major announcement for 2019, QPAC, Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch and Tourism and Industry Development Minister Kate Jones today announced that the 2020 QPAC International Series will take place from July 1 to 19, 2020 and show performances of Paris Opera Ballet. Shaking up the situation of recent years, the Paris Opera Ballet will present three works instead of two – one opening gala featuring works from the company’s repertoire, Rudolf Nureyev Swan Lake and a mixed list of contemporary works in Parisian evening. You can read more about each work and the Paris Opera Ballet at the bottom of this article.

All works will feature performers from the Paris Opera Ballet, in addition to local musical accompaniment from the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. In previous years, young dancers and local dancers have had the opportunity to play a role in the performance – further details are yet to be confirmed for the 2020 International Series.

If you are reading this and would like to be the first to purchase tickets for the Opening Gala, Swan Lake and/or Parisian Evening – tickets will go on sale from 9am on Thursday, December 12, 2019. tickets can be purchased either on line or by calling QTIX (136 246)


Swan Lake – Photo by Léonore Baulac

What they say…

The Paris Opera Ballet is one of the oldest ballet companies in the world, and the last time they visited Queensland was in 2009 for the first international series held at QPAC. It’s a rare chance for Queenslanders to see this prestigious company on stage, accompanied by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

There will also be plenty of opportunities for Queenslanders to connect with the Paris Opera Ballet’s exclusive visit to our state, including public conversations, exhibitions, community engagement projects and more.

The Honorable Leeanne Enoch, MP
Queensland Arts Minister

Events like this are a boon to our tourism industry. We look forward to welcoming this prestigious ballet company to Queensland, which will attract high value tourists from overseas and interstate.

Since 2009, the QPAC International Series has attracted the world’s top companies to perform exclusively in Brisbane, including the Royal Ballet, Teatro alla Scala and the Bolshoi Ballet last year, contributing almost $33 million to our economy sightseeing.

Securing the Paris Opera Ballet will continue to build on this success and add to an epic lineup of cultural events for Queensland in 2020, including Richard Wagner’s operatic masterpiece, The Ring.

The Honorable Kate Jones, MP
Queensland Tourism Industry Development Minister

This season has been a long time coming, but it’s worth the wait. We will present an extensive program on and off stage that showcases the remarkable depth of the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet and engages audiences in the best of French culture.

Mr John Kotzas
General Manager of QPAC

I would like to sincerely thank John Kotzas, General Manager of QPAC; Leo Schofield and Ian McRae, guest curators of the QPAC International Series; Leeanne Enoch, Minister of Arts; and Kate Jones, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development, who supported this season.

“In addition to the international dimension, the dancers and I are delighted to come to Australia to present a series highlighting the different faces of our company.

Ms Aurelie Dupont
Director of Dance of the Paris Opera Ballet


The QPAC International Series 2020 Directory

Opening gala

The Paris Opera Ballet will perform exclusively at QPAC in 2020 2
Opening Gala – Image courtesy of QPAC

To be held on July 1, 2020 at 7:30 p.m., the price for the opening gala will be between $89.00 and $215.00 per seat depending on reserved seats (remember that a higher reserve may indicate a closer, central view and/or or best of the scene). This evening will present excerpts from five classical and contemporary dance works from the company’s repertoire. These include, at the time of writing:

  • Three Preludes, choreographed by Ben Stevenson
  • Variations, choreographed by Serge Lifar to music by Francois Schubert and costume design by Chanel
  • Ab (intra), choreographed by Raphael Bonachela to music by Basins of Pёteris
  • Tchaikovsky pas de deux, choreographed by George Balanchine to music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Raymonda Grand Pas, choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev to music by Alexander Glazunov

Swan Lake

Swan Lake – Photo by Julien Benhamou

Created for the Paris Opera Ballet in 1984 under his direction, the Company will stage Rudolf Nureyev’s Swan Lake from July 4 to 12, 2020, at a price between $79.00 (C-Reserve) and $215 (Premium Reserve). Nureyev has chosen to give this emblematic work of the Paris Opera Ballet a Freudian dimension, illuminating Tchaikovsky’s emblematic score through a deep sense of despair.

Parisian evening

The Paris Opera Ballet will perform exclusively at QPAC in 2020 4
The Canon of the Seasons – Photo by Agathe Poupeney

Three famous works now considered synonymous with the Company will be presented in the Parisian Evening. The mixed bill includes Blake Works I, with music by James Blake and choreography by William Forsythe; In the Night, ballet in one act by Jerome Robbins on nocturnes by Frédéric Chopin; and The Seasons’ Canon by Crystal Pite, with music by Max Richter. There appear to be fewer performances than Swan Lake, July 16-19, 2020. Ticket prices will range from $69.00 (C-Reserve) to $169.00 (Premium Reserve)