Adelaide Festival Centre and The University Of Adelaide Partnership sets the stage for musical theatre students

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Adelaide Festival Centre and the University of Adelaide's Elder Conservatorium have partnered to encourage and support South Australia’s first Bachelor of Music Theatre students.

In an Australian first between a major arts organisation and leading university, the partnership will provide professional development opportunities for students throughout Adelaide Festival Centre’s year-round program of festivals and major musicals.

Already students have participated in masterclasses and workshops with some of the world’s most accomplished musical theatre stars including Philip Quast and Ann Maree McDonald during Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

On Saturday, June 22, Music Theatre students from the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium participated in a masterclass with one of the most celebrated performers in the history of the West End, Ruthie Henshall – who was in Adelaide to perform her solo show, Ruthie Henshall Live & Intimate, at Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

A recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the organisations also outlines the commitment to help students develop professional skills by attending shows at Adelaide Festival Centre, live performance opportunities during festivals and providing a theatre for students’ end of year production.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director, Douglas Gautier AM said: “We are thrilled to be offering professional development opportunities to South Australia’s up and coming musical theatre performers studying at the University of Adelaide.  

“Adelaide Festival Centre continues to be a leader in presenting, developing and nurturing performing arts in South Australia, while continuing to feature major musical theatre productions.

“The partnership with the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music further strengthens and supports cultural and performing arts by offering students the opportunity to learn from and connect with some of the world’s leading performers and producers.

“We look forward to seeing the musical theatre stars of tomorrow rise through these workshops and programs.” 

Adelaide University Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen AO said: “The University of Adelaide has a long history of fostering the arts in South Australia and we welcome new opportunities to partner with leading cultural institutions in the State.

“Our new strategic plan establishes a clear role for the University as an active participant in the community and as part of the ‘beating heart of Adelaide’, with creativity and culture as one of our five industry engagement priorities.

“We are very conscious that education is far more than just sitting in a lecture theatre, far more than going to a tutorial. It’s about holistic development and enabling people to harness and express their creativity.

“By educating young people, by enabling creativity in the form of the expression of ideas through research, by connecting to the world of knowledge and wisdom, we create an enterprise which is the most powerful lever that South Australia has to realize its own socioeconomic future and to prepare tomorrow’s workforce for the challenges it faces. 

“Through this new partnership with the Adelaide Festival Centre, students in our Bachelor Of Music Theatre at the University’s Elder Conservatorium of Music have the chance to learn from global leaders in the performing arts, in one of Adelaide’s premier cultural spaces.

“Collaborations such as this strengthen both the diverse and dynamic education enjoyed by our students, as well as connecting our students and graduates to leaders in industry.”

Last year the University of Adelaide announced its new Bachelor of Music Theatre program with the first cohort of students starting this year.  Up until now students had to study interstate to realise their musical theatre dreams.

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