QPAC Postpone QPAC International Series 2020 Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Header Photo by Agathe Poupeney

While many external producers bring their world-class performances to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC) four venues each year – QPAC also curate a sweeping range of local, interstate and international works themselves. Arguably the biggest event of their annual calendar is the QPAC International Series. For a decade now, (almost) every year one of the world’s leading ballet companies have travelled to Brisbane for a couple of weeks, following a residency model where the public have access to world-class performances, classes, lectures, cultural opportunities and more. Previous years has seen the “Mighty” Bolshoi, Ballet Preljocaj, Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company, The Royal Ballet and more walk in the halls of QPAC.

First announced in December 2019, it was confirmed that the Paris Opera Ballet will be kicking off the QPAC International Series this decade. Performances were due to commence in July 2020, and feature thing different performances: an opening gala, Rudolf Nureyev’s Swan Lake and a mixed bill of contemporary works in Parisienne Soirée. But if you remember, this was a time before COVID-19 pandemic threw the arts and culture scene (among many others) into troublesome times.

QPAC Postpone QPAC International Series 2020 Amid COVID-19 Outbreak 1
Swan Lake – Photo by Léonore Baulac

In a not-at-all surprising announcement, QPAC today confirmed that the QPAC International Series would not be commencing on the planned dates, and would be postponed. Chief Executive John Kotzas provided the following statement around this postponement:

Unfortunately, continuing international travel restrictions and of course strict guidelines around mass gatherings, mean that we cannot proceed with this season for its scheduled dates in July this year.

Our International Series is the jewel in the crown of QPAC’s programming and it is always such a privilege for us to bring the world’s best companies to our stage, so this is a huge disappointment for us and our audiences. 

As we do not yet have confirmed dates for a rescheduled season, all tickets will be fully refunded, and we are collaborating with Paris Opera Ballet to ascertain possible dates for the triumphant return of this world-renowned ballet company. 

We have promised our dedicated International Series ticket holders that they will be given the first opportunity to purchase tickets to a rescheduled season.

John Kotzas
Chief Executive – Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC)

While restrictions in Brisbane are incrementally being lifted due to a decline in the COVID-19 infection rate, I would not expect to have a rescheduled date locked in too soon. Not only would QPAC have to consider Paris Opera Ballet’s other obligations in France / Internationally (if not impacted by COVID-19 at the time) and their own schedule, but also factor in when international flights will be possible once again.

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