Every last drop of water has been drained from the Spring Hill Reservoir, but the 140-year-old structure will soon be flooded with music when The Underground Opera Company (UOC) returns for a second season of Opera in the Reservoir.
The UOC made history in 2014 when director and founder Bruce Edwards cleaned up the reservoir — which had been idle for 50 years — in order to hold an opera concert.
The concert sold out, leading Bruce to bring opera back to the reservoir with another season next month.
“The Spring Hill Reservoir is such a stunning venue, providing a magical experience, highlighted by incredible acoustics,” Bruce says. “When I was introduced to the space by the National Trust, I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was to have the opportunity to open the reservoirs to the public for the first time. To do so, we were grateful to receive Brisbane City Council’s endorsement.
“It provided us an opportunity to do something really different. We had uncovered this incredible space to allow opera lovers to be entertained by some of Australia’s best performers, in one of Brisbane’s best-kept secrets.
“We had patrons arriving from Europe and China to enjoy the music — it really was a sensational beginning to our work in this space and we look forward to the performances in November, while including the venue in our exciting 2016 season.”
The venue has been enhanced with steps, ventilation, bars, seats and a stage, but Bruce says these necessary performance features don’t take away from the historic aesthetics of the venue.
“Even with these additions, it remains extremely obvious that we are performing to our guests in a reservoir,” he says.
“We’re not going to disguise the authenticity! The space becomes a performance venue that has an ambience I believe rivals most theatres audiences have become accustomed to.”
Opera in the Reservoir is part of UOC’s four-year commitment to establishing the reservoir as a full-time venue.
The season will run from November 13 – 29, featuring the likes of singers Glen Lorimer and Clarissa Foulcher and pianist Brendan Murtagh performing arias such as Nessun Dorma from Turandot, duets from Lakme and The Pearl Fishers, and spectacular ensemble pieces, complemented by musical theatre classics.