Verdi's Requiem HOTA Outdoor Stage

Don’t think you like opera? Here’s why you should see Verdi’s Requiem

After the success of opera on the beach last year, Opera Queensland is bringing the epic Verdi’s Requiem to our Outdoor Stage as part of Bleach* the Gold Coast Festival.

Far removed from what you’d experience at a stuffy concert hall, this is opera Gold Coast style – outdoors under the stars, picnic rugs, thongs and cold drinks. It will be a great night out or a great end to a day spent on the beach.

But this is no classical cchill-out– with 80 musicians in the orchestra, 60 singers and 4 opera singers Verdi’s Requiem is an intense experience with an amazing array of sound and dynamism.

Sung in Latin and Italian (with subtitles on the big screens) you’ll be moved by the energy, drama and sheer exuberance of the performance. The well-known Dies Irae is pure orchestral rock ‘n’ roll.

Verdi's Requiem

PHOTO: Supplied by Bleach | © Paul Blackmore

Big screens will show incredibly rich visuals that respond to the music – of natural disasters and communities in strife and the fragility of our environment.

And in the precinct, you’ll be surrounded by large fire sculptures, religious and pagan imagery to really set the scene for the evening. And for some amazing photos, of course!

If you’re thinking about trying something new this year, then we recommend a night at the opera, Gold Coast style.

Get your tickets now to see Verdi’s Requiem play our Outdoor Stage 7:30pm Saturday 27.

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GC Laughs HOTA

Take a trip to the funny side with GC Laughs

GC Laughs has just announced their line-up, and it’s pure comedy gold. This brand-new festival promises a whole week of non-stop funniness from some of the biggest names in comedy alongside the next generation of up and coming talent.

GC Laughs is the brainchild of Festival Co-Directors Josh Armstrong and Craig Ivanoff who felt it was time the Gold Coast had a comedy festival of its own.

‘Most cities around the country stage a comedy festival, it’s a rite of passage for many a famous name to “tread the circuit” and audiences love discovering new talent before they are famous,’ said Josh.

This year’s diverse line up features big names like Ross Noble, Arj Barker and Stephen K Amos plus rising stars like Fern Brady, Rhys Nicholson and Becky Lucas.

GC Laughs Acts

Ross Noble, Arj Barker and Fern Brady | PHOTOS: GC Laughs Festival / HOTA

With support from HOTA for the next three years, the comedy festival will put the Gold Coast on the map as a major player on the comedy circuit and plans to become a cornerstone event on the Gold Coast’s cultural calendar.

We had a chat with Festival Co-Director Craig Ivanoff:

Why did you want to bring a comedy festival to the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and the leading tourist destination in the country, making it a perfect location for world-class entertainment. The comedy scene here has gone from strength to strength over the last 5 years. We now have show’s most nights, the only thing that was missing is a big event to draw in the big acts, and big crowds. And it’s a privilege to bring it to an amazing venue like HOTA.

What’s special about seeing comedy live?

There’s definitely something uniquely special about live comedy. When you’re in a crowd of people, hyper-focused on the performer, the mood is infectious, and the result can be electric. The very nature of comedy means that comics often get to be provocative, to get people to think outside the box. The comedian engages with a different audience every night, an ever-changing unpredictable group of people who have come together to laugh, which makes it fresh and exciting. When the show ends, it can never be reproduced in exactly the same way again.

Who’s your top tip to see at the festival?

The Gala, hosted by Sammy J and Randy is definitely one of the hottest shows to see, with an amazing line-up of international and local acts. Helen Bidou’s show was hugely popular last year and was nominated for multiple awards, winning best show at the Sydney Comedy Festival. Having Daniel Sloss join us after dropping his two incredible Netflix hours is pretty special as well.

Check out the full program of events for GC Laughs at HOTA from 17-24 March, you’re sure to find something that takes your fancy.

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JUNK at HOTA

Exhilarating new show from Australia’s world-famous youth circus hits HOTA

Step back in time to 1940s rural Australia to meet the play-loving kids who live behind a junk yard in Flying Fruit Fly Circus’ exhilarating new show JUNK at HOTA, Home of the Arts.

An inventive exploration of the changing world of childhood, set in a time before kids had access to television, computers and expensive toys, the Flying Fruit Flies use only their imagination to transform household trash into a magical landscape of thrilling circus adventures. Led by Artistic Director Jodie Farrugia they incorporate games of a time gone by such as noughts and crosses, tricycle-riding, elastics and hopscotch.

The intergenerational work evolved from interviews conducted by the young Flying Fruit Flies with elders at their local nursing home about games they played as children. The voices of these elders are used as sound sources, along with the rhythmic chants and verses from skipping games and hopscotch. Sound Designer Bec Matthews has included music and songs from the 1940s, interspersed with live interludes from the performers themselves playing instruments including a washboard, percussion and stringed instruments along with a junked piano.

Australia’s world-famous national youth circus is known for its heartfelt storytelling and Farrugia has created an inventive exploration of the changing world of childhood.

JUNK at HOTA

PHOTO: Supplied by HOTA / © Ian Sutherland

Executive Director and Producer, Richard Hull, said: “We are all very proud of this new work, which so beautifully reflects our company’s home and roots in regional Albury-Wodonga. It also asks some relevant questions about how children are allowed to dream, imagine and discover risk in our modern day society. JUNK is a spectacular showcase for the energy and skills of 17 extraordinary young circus artists.”

Founded in 1979 as a holiday project for local youth in Albury-Wodonga, the Flying Fruit Fly Circus is recognised as one of the world’s leading youth arts companies. With many landmark projects to its name and an ever-increasing alumni working in leading companies around the world, it is perhaps Australia’s most successful cultural community development project, continuing to enrich the lives of many young Australians.

“The Flying Fruit Fly Circus has done it again, JUNK is absolutely wondrous. So much joy, never just tricks. Highly recommend to all. Grab a child, go.” Sydney Morning Herald

 “JUNK is exhilarating, inspirational and fun… one of the leading youth circuses in the world.” Arts Hub

“A wonderfully inventive show with something to say.” Sunday Telegraph

Get your tickets now to see this exhilarating new show at 10.30am Friday 29 March, 10.30am & 3pm Saturday 30 March.

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Neil Finn Chior HOTA

A great opportunity for local singers at Bleach Festival

Bleach* Festival is back, what a lineup and an awesome opportunity for local singers!

We’re looking for a small ensemble to join dynamic duo Mama Kin Spender at their festival appearance.

Mama Kin Spender is two long-time friends, co-writers and mischief-makers: ARIA-nominated Mama Kin and producer Tommy Spender. A stripped back duo of brooding guitars, primal drums and howling harmonies, joined by a chorus of singers.

They’ve been touring Australia and getting together with local choirs everywhere they go as a way of deepening their connection to the places they visit, getting to know the local singers and the unique voices of each community.

Mama Kin Spender Bleach

Mama Kin Spender | PHOTO: Supplied by Bleach / © WILK

This is a really special opportunity. If you’re an enthusiastic local singer who is confident singing contemporary and folk style music in harmony with others and are over 18 years old then this could be for you.

Auditions will be held here on Mon 11 and Mon 18 Feb at HOTA, from 8pm. Full details can be found here.

There’s SO much to be excited about in the Bleach line up including the intense orchestral rock ‘n’ roll rollercoaster that is Verdi’s Requiem, outdoors here in April.

Verdi's Requiem Bleach

Verdi’s Requiem | PHOTO: Supplied by Bleach

And HOTA Choir’s next gig was announced – they’re taking to the stage during Bleach as part of The Soldiers Wife which tell the stories of women whose partners have served in conflict over the past 60 years. If you’re interested in joining HOTA Choir then see here for all the details.

The Sapphires on stage at HOTA

The Sapphires is one of Australia’s best-loved stories. Winning multiple awards as a play, film and soundtrack album there was one challenge left and that was to undertake a national tour of Australia. Bringing the raw energy, fun and emotion of this story directly to stages across the nation.

Writer Tony Briggs will direct his work in a version he promises will be the most intimate telling of The Sapphires story yet.

“I hope the audience will feel a fresh sense of connection to a story that has already successfully infiltrated the psyche of the Australian theatre and movie-going public and get a sense of joy and understanding of who Aboriginal people are and walk away from The Sapphires with a smile on their faces”, said Tony.

Four young women from regional Australia, who like singing country music, suddenly get the chance to change their tune, their clothes and their lives. Wearing uniforms of sequins, armed only with microphones they find themselves trying to spread joy in the hell that is the Vietnam War.

The Sapphires is a funny, heart-warming tale inspired by the true story of writer Tony Brigg’s mother. It tells of the incredible journey of a singing group of four Yorta Yorta Women, who sing Motown soul hits against the backdrop of personal change and massive social upheaval. It is an energetic, fun and engaging play that affirms life and the realisation of dreams.

“A gem of a play. Briggs mixes fact and fiction to lay bare and flesh out his celebratory tale which, though political in patches, is focused on the personal. The Sapphires is heartfelt and joyous. Superb.” Bryce Hallett, Sydney Morning Herald

The Sapphires is a play about fulfilling dreams and challenging stereotypes. It is a play about hope.” Kate Herbert, The Herald Sun

Get your tickets now to see this amazing performance at 7.30pm Friday 15 March and 1.30pm on Saturday 16 March.

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