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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2002   
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Contents >> Culture and Recreation >> Performing arts

The performing arts encompass opera, musical comedy, theatre in its various forms and the various styles of dance. They also include artists working as acrobats, clowns, magicians, comedians, revue artists, poetry readers and other performing artists.


Attendance at the performing arts

The popularity of opera and musicals is reflected in attendance numbers at the performing arts. Table 12.17 shows that in the 12 months prior to April 1999 over 2.4 million people (16.3% of the Australian population aged 15 and over) attended at least one performance of musical theatre, while 1.3 million (9% of the Australian population aged 15 and over) attended at least one dance performance.


12.17 ATTENDANCE(a) AT THE PERFORMING ARTS - 1999

Attendees
Dance performance

’000
Opera/Musical

’000
Theatre

’000
Other performing arts

’000

Sex -
- Male
496.0
876.6
993.0
1,170.6
- Female
848.9
1,553.8
1,471.9
1,477.3
- Total
1,345.0
2,430.4
2,464.9
2,648.0
Age -
- 15 to 24 years
242.5
394.2
477.0
468.5
- 25 to 34 years
267.6
486.6
500.2
631.0
- 35 to 44 years
311.5
449.4
486.7
678.3
- 45 to 54 years
270.1
505.6
492.9
404.2
- 55 to 64 years
134.8
297.8
269.8
225.1
- 65 years and over
118.5
296.9
238.4
240.9
Birthplace -
- Australian-born
962.4
1,859.2
1,888.2
1,999.4
- Overseas-born
382.6
571.2
576.7
648.5

(a) Attendance in the 12 months prior to interview.

Source: Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues, Australia, April 1999 (4114.0).


Performing arts industries

There were 1,437 employing businesses mainly engaged in the performing arts industries at the end of June 2000. Of these, 705 mainly provided live theatrical or musical presentations (i.e. music and theatre productions); 125 operated venues for performing arts such as concert halls and entertainment centres; and 606 provided services to the arts industry such as festival management, casting agency operation, costume design and set designing. They employed 16,429 persons at the end of June 2000. During 1999-2000 they accrued total income of $1,633.8m, of which $460.5m was from box office income and $470.0m from government funding. Additional data on the performing arts industry are shown in Service industries.


Opera Australia

In 1997 the Australian Opera and the Victorian State Opera merged to become Opera Australia. More reliant on box office receipts than many of the world's arts companies, 65% of Opera Australia's revenue comes directly from ticket sales.

With a repertoire spanning the history of opera, almost 250 performances are staged each year (table 12.18). With about 200 performances in 2000, the company is the third busiest in the world after the Vienna State Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, New York. To support this schedule, the company engages a full-time opera chorus and two resident orchestras - The Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, based in Sydney, and the State Orchestra of Victoria in Melbourne.


12.18 OPERA AUSTRALIA, Key Indicators

1997

no.
1998

no.
1999

no.
2000

no.

Employees
1,212
1,175
1,118
1,300
Performances
243
237
237
196
Attendances
293,300
268,866
290,770
254,212

Source: Opera Australia.


The Australian Ballet

The Australian Ballet gave its first performance in 1962. The company has received international acclaim for its presentations of great ballet classics, as well as modern repertoire created by Australian and international choreographers.

In 2000 the company gave 203 performances, up from 184 in 1999. It employed 139 persons, down slightly from the number in recent years (table 12.19).


12.19 THE AUSTRALIAN BALLET, Performances and Employment

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000

PERFORMANCES

Theatres in Australia -
- New South Wales
81
81
81
94
80
81
- Victoria
61
60
62
63
48
61
- Queensland
11
10
10
7
6
10
- South Australia
7
7
6
8
6
8
- Western Australia
6
-
6
-
-
6
- Australian Capital Territory
6
6
8
7
-
6
Other venues in Australia -
- Sydney Olympic Arts Festival
- Regional (The Dancers Company)
. .
18
. .
28
. .
10
. .
18
. .
23
16
14
- Open-air
1
1
1
1
1
1
ABC-TV simulcasts
2
-
-
-
-
-
Overseas
-
14
-
-
20
-
Total performances
193
207
184
198
184
203

EMPLOYMENT(a)

Dancers
65
62
62
62
62
61
Staff -
- Artistic
9
8
12
12
12
11
- Music
5
5
6
5
5
5
- Production and theatre
24
25
23
24
24
22
- Marketing and publicity
23
23
22
21
21
20
- Administration and finance
20
21
19
20
20
20
Total employment
146
144
144
144
144
139

(a) On average for the year.

Source: The Australian Ballet, Annual Reports.


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