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The performing arts include music performances, acting, dance performances, opera and musicals, circuses and puppet shows.
Performing arts industries
The ABS conducted a survey of performing arts industries in respect of 1999-2000. The survey found that 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 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 and a further 20,752 persons worked as volunteers. During 1999-2000 they earned a total income of $1,633.8m, of which $470.0m was from government funding and $460.5m from box office income.
Symphony Australia Orchestral Network
The Symphony Australia Orchestral Network comprises Australia's six major professional symphony orchestras - Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony, The Queensland Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and West Australian Symphony Orchestra - as well as the national service organisation, Symphony Australia. The network was established as a division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) over a number of years from 1932. The orchestras and the national service organisation now operate as subsidiary companies of the ABC. The orchestras present live performances in Australia's major performing arts venues and in free open-air concerts. They also present broadcasts on ABC radio and television, make recordings for international record labels, accompany opera and ballet performances, undertake international tours, and give performances in regional and country areas throughout Australia. In 2002, the six orchestras presented 643 concerts to audiences totalling more than 797,000 people (table 12.13) and reached much larger audiences through their recording and broadcast activities. More information about Symphony Australia and its activities can be obtained from the web site, <http://www.symphony.net.au>.
Musica Viva, Australia's national promoter and organiser of chamber music concerts, began as a performing ensemble named Sydney Musica Viva in December 1945. During 2002, 2,715 concerts or other performances were presented by Musica Viva across Australia and overseas, with audiences totalling 482,363 Australians and 42,070 overseas patrons (table 12.14). Ménage concerts, designed for people aged between 18 and 35 years and presented in unusual, intimate venues, were presented in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney to audiences totalling 1,779. CountryWide, a regional touring program, reached audiences of 21,608, while the live music education program ('Musica Viva in Schools') reached 415,444 students across Australia and in Singapore. Further information on Musica Viva can be obtained from the web site, <http://www.musicaviva.com.au>.
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, approximately 70% of Opera Australia's revenue comes directly from ticket sales.
With a repertoire spanning the history of opera, in excess of 200 mainstage performances are presented each year (table 12.15), making the company one of the three busiest opera companies in the world including 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 Orchestra Victoria in Melbourne. Further information about Opera Australia can be obtained from the web site, <http://www.opera-australia.org.au>.
The Australian Ballet
The Australian Ballet, formed in 1962, is a full-time ensemble company that presents over 200 performances annually both in Australia and abroad. The company has received international acclaim for its presentations of great ballet classics, as well as modern repertoire created by Australian and international choreographers. Further information regarding the Australian ballet can be obtained from the web site, <http://www.australianballet.com.au>.
In 2002, the Australian Ballet gave 217 performances and employed 153 persons, consisting of 72 dancers and 81 other staff (table 12.16).