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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Culture and Recreation >> Performing arts

The performing arts include music performances, acting, dance performances, opera and musicals, circuses and puppet shows.

Attendance at the performing arts

Attendance at the performing arts is a significant aspect of the cultural life of many Australians. Table 12.11 shows that in the 12 months prior to April 1999, 25.4% of the Australian population aged 15 and over (almost 3.8 million people) attended at least one popular music concert; 16.5% (almost 2.5 million people) attended at least one theatre performance; and 16.3% (over 2.4 million people) attended at least one opera or musical. Attendance rates at most of the performing arts were similar to those recorded in a survey conducted in 1995. The largest difference was the fall in the attendance at operas or musicals, from an attendance rate of 19.3% (2.7 million people) in 1995.


12.11 ATTENDANCE(a) AT THE PERFORMING ARTS - 1999

Popular music
concert
Classical music
concert
Dance
performance
Opera or
musical
Theatre
Other
performing arts
Attendance rate(b)
%
%
%
%
%
%

Sex
Males
25.1
7.1
6.8
11.9
13.5
15.9
Females
25.6
10.4
11.2
20.5
19.4
19.5
Persons
25.4
8.8
9.0
16.3
16.5
17.8
Age group (years)
15-17
37.3
5.0
12.7
15.8
25.1
16.4
18-24
42.4
6.4
7.5
14.4
14.7
18.1
25-34
32.8
7.3
9.4
17.0
17.5
22.1
35-44
25.9
8.7
10.7
15.5
16.8
23.4
45-54
22.7
11.6
10.7
20.1
19.6
16.1
55-64
16.2
11.5
8.1
17.9
16.2
13.5
65 and over
7.2
8.9
5.1
12.9
10.3
10.4
Birthplace
Australia
28.2
8.2
8.8
17.1
17.4
18.4
Main English-speaking countries
24.1
12.3
10.1
19.0
19.5
18.7
Other countries
13.5
9.1
9.1
11.0
10.9
14.3

(a) Attendance at least once in the 12 months prior to interview in April 1999.
(b) The number of people who attended, expressed as a percentage of the number of people in that population group.

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 $470.0m was from government funding and $460.5m from box office income.

For additional information about the performing arts industry, see Service industries.

Symphony Australia Orchestral Network

The Symphony Australia Orchestral Network comprises Australia's six major professional symphony orchestras - Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, 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 concerts 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 2000-01, the six orchestras presented approximately 800 concerts to audiences totalling more than 1.1 million people (table 12.12) and reached much larger audiences through their recording and broadcast activities.


12.12 SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS

1999-2000
2000-01


Type of performance
Concerts
Total attendances
Concerts
Total attendances

Paid orchestral concerts
530
744,409
527
651,324
School concerts
203
103,919
214
76,046
Free concerts
49
261,024
39
263,537
Total
782
1,109,352
780
990,907

Source: Symphony Australia web site.


Musica Viva

Musica Viva, Australia's national promoter and organiser of chamber music concerts, began as a performing ensemble named Sydney Musica Viva in December 1945, as an initiative of violist, conductor and inventor Richard Goldner. It is now a non-profit company with headquarters in Sydney; it has a board with members throughout Australia, a state committee structure and branch offices in capital cities. During 2001, 2,537 concerts or other performances were presented by Musica Viva across Australia and overseas, with audiences exceeding 443,000 Australians and 34,000 overseas patrons (table 12.13). 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 1,069. CountryWide, a regional touring program, reached audiences of 22,921, while the live music education program ('Musica Viva in Schools') reached 367,189 students across Australia and in Singapore.


12.13 MUSICA VIVA AUDIENCES(a)

Location
1998
1999
2000
2001

New South Wales
291,292
274,495
263,162
276,931
Victoria
42,853
34,183
48,096
47,159
Queensland
15,303
22,144
27,608
25,837
South Australia
23,089
16,073
19,624
24,582
Western Australia
43,015
44,474
43,999
41,110
Tasmania
9,599
8,024
11,408
10,201
Northern Territory
4,703
7,171
8,336
7,895
Australian Capital Territory
12,911
12,947
9,102
9,366
Australia
442,765
419,511
431,335
443,101
Overseas
50,000
34,350
37,500
34,770
Total
492,765
453,861
468,835
477,851

(a) Includes audiences at regional touring concerts, education concerts, subscription concerts and special events.

Source: Musica Viva Australia.


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 12.14), making the company the third busiest opera company 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 Orchestra Victoria in Melbourne.


12.14 OPERA AUSTRALIA, Key indicators

1998
1999
2000
2001

Employees
1,175
1,118
1,389
1,254
Performances
237
237
196
225
Attendances
268,866
290,770
254,212
268,012

Source: Opera Australia.


The Australian Ballet

The Australian Ballet, formed in 1962, is a full-time ensemble company that presents over 180 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.

In 2001 the Australian Ballet gave 211 performances, up from 203 in 2000. It employed 150 persons, consisting of 69 dancers and 81 other staff (table 12.15).


12.15 THE AUSTRALIAN BALLET

1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001

PERFORMANCES

Theatres in Australia
New South Wales
81
81
94
80
81
94
Victoria
60
62
63
48
61
68
Queensland
10
10
7
6
10
6
South Australia
7
6
8
6
8
13
Western Australia
-
6
-
-
6
-
Australian Capital Territory
6
8
7
-
6
6
Other venues in Australia
Sydney Olympic Arts Festival
. .
. .
. .
. .
16
. .
Regional (The Dancers Company)
28
10
18
23
14
16
Open-air
1
1
1
1
1
1
Overseas
14
-
-
20
-
7
Total
207
184
198
184
203
211

EMPLOYMENT(a)

Dancers
62
62
62
62
61
69
Other staff(b)
82
82
82
82
78
81
Total
144
144
144
144
139
150

(a) Average for the year.
(b) Includes artistic, music, production, marketing and administration staff.

Source: The Australian Ballet, 'Annual Reports'.


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