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