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Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts


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For over 30 years, the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University has held a reputation as Australia’s premiere performing arts academy, producing stars such as Hugh Jackman and Tim Minchin. Each year students collaborate with staff and critically acclaimed guest artists to perform over 300 public performances in Perth and regional WA, interstate and overseas.

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A hub for performing arts, the Mount Lawley campus boasts a range of state-of-the-art performance spaces, including Geoff Gibbs Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, Richard Gill Auditorium, Enright Studio, and the iconic Edith Spiegeltent – a rare tent-style theatre made of wood, mirrors, canvas and leaded glass.

Across these venues, and in city and regional spaces, the WAAPA calendar is rich with performances in dance, music and musical theatre, and contemporary arts. This cross-genre offering exposes students to a range of crafts and experiences, and is a delight to audiences.

With specialised training, WAAPA is known for the quality of its graduates who pursue successful careers in the performing arts and entertainment industries, including many well-known stars such as Frances O’Connor, Marcus Graham, William McInnes, Lisa McCune, Lucy Durack, Rachelle Durkin, Emma Matthews, Jamie Oehlers and Eddie Perfect.

As a graduate of Music Theatre, Lucy Durack went on to star in the Australian productions of Wicked and Legally Blonde: The Musical, as well as appearing on television in the series Doctor Doctor and Sisters. Another star graduate is the soprano Emma Matthews, now WAAPA’s Head of Classical Voice and Opera Studies, who tours the country regularly with a number of national and state music institutions such as Opera Australia and WA Opera.

In the spirit of past graduate success stories, WAAPA continues to provide its students with theatrical experience and practical knowledge, as well as academic excellence. Luckily for arts enthusiasts and lovers of performing arts, this fostered creativity is shared with the public throughout the academic year.

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Guides

Guides


Music for the Royal Fireworks

A night of chamber music over owing with energy and passion.

  • Dates:Apr 15, 16
  • Time(s):7.30pm
  • Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Details

  • Hosted By:WAAPA ECU Mount Lawley
  • Ticket Price:$25 - $30
  • Music:Classical,Orchestral
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium
  • Type:Youth Art / Performance

Description

WAAPA's elite Indian Ocean Ensemble brings to life George Frideric Handel's much-loved Music for the Royal Fireworks. String, wind, brass and percussion students join in to entertain with their own favourite chamber music works, including a vibrant new creation from WAAPA's Seven Seas World Music Ensemble.

Music of John Scofield

American jazz-rock guitarist and composer John Scofield is a living legend, influencing jazz since the late 70's and still going strong today

  • Dates:Apr 15
  • Time(s):7.30pm
  • Venue:The Edith Spiegeltent

Details

  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Ticket Price:$15 - $20
  • Music:Jazz
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:The Edith Spiegeltent
  • Type:Youth Art / Performance

Description

With his distinctive sound and stylistic diversity, Scofield is a masterful improviser whose music generally falls between post- bop, funk-edged jazz and R&B. This concert features music from two of his albums, Electric Outlet (1984) and Quiet (1996), as the Jazz Guitar Ensemble is joined by WAAPA alumni to honour this guitar great. 

Arrangements are courtesy of Freddie Grigson, Kristian Borring, Sam Foster, Ben Jobson and Bryn Larkin

WAAPA Open Day

WAAPA & ECU are opening their Mount Lawley campus to the public so you can explore the grounds, tour studios and facilities, and talk to friendly people about courses you want to study!

  • Dates:Apr 18
  • Time(s):10am - 4pm
  • Venue:WAAPA

Details

  • Hosted By:WAAPA & ECU
  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Type:Youth Art / Performance,Community,Free,Workshops
  • Other:University
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:The Edith Spiegeltent,Richard Gill Auditorium,Roundhouse Theatre,Geoff Gibbs Theatre,Enright Studio

Description

The campus is open for backstage tours, interactive demonstrations and Q&As, taking place throughout the day. To check out what's on, head to https://www.ecu.edu.au/open-day/ to plan your day and get the most out of it!

Postgraduate Research Showcase

WAAPA Postgraduate Research Showcase offers a rare chance for audiences to sample innovative art projects in their nascent stages, and to view ideas that will transform the future of arts discourse.

  • Dates:Apr 22; Sep 16
  • Time(s):7.30pm
  • Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Details

  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium
  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Music:Other Music
  • Performing Arts:Dance,Theatre
  • Other:Lectures & Talks,University

Description

WAAPA has a thriving postgraduate research program covering a broad range of performing arts disciplines, with a particular strength in practice-led research. Our strengths include interactive digital music systems, performance practices on historic piano, new directions in jazz, physiological analysis of human movement, theatre-making, choreography, and much more. The WAAPA Postgraduate Research Showcase is in part a performance event, and in part a series of short research presentations. It offers a rare opportunity for audiences to sample innovative arts projects in their nascent stages, and to view the ideas that will transform the future of arts discourse. Hosted by: WAAPA Higher Degree by Research students

Morning Melodies: Cool Classics

This spectacular seven-piece band of WAAPA graduates takes you back in time with vibrant pop hits from the 60s and 70s!

  • Dates:Apr 28
  • Time(s):11am
  • Venue:His Majesty's Theatre

Details

  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Ticket Price:$24-30
  • Type:Youth Art / Performance
  • Music:R&B,Pop
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:His Majesty's Theatre

Description

Enjoy all-time favourite songs from a diverse range of genres, such as Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi, The Supremes' You Can't Hurry Love, Aretha Franklin's Natural Woman, and Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water, as well as hits from Carol King, David Bowie and The Beatles. Cool Classics is sure to get your feet tapping!

Music Director: Matt Allen

Performed by: Contemporary Music alumni

Sound Spectrum 2021.1

Composition and Music Technology's mini-festival of new sounds showcases students and staff in five nights of original music.

  • Dates:May 3, 4, 5 & 7
  • Time(s):7:30pm
  • Venue:ECU's Spectrum Project Space

Details

  • Music:Classical,Other Music,Electronic
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Type:Youth Art / Performance
  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Ticket Price:$23 - $30

Description

Hear experimental acoustic and electronic music performances, installations, audio visual works, DJ artists and world premieres from the West Australian Laptop Orchestra, ECUatorial, Listener Ensemble, Shock Of The New and more. Music Director: Lindsay Vickery Performed by: Composition and Music Technology students and staff

Grand Designs: Jazz and the World

A unique concert, composed by commissioned WAAPA jazz alumni

  • Dates:May 6-8
  • Time(s):7.30pm
  • Venue:Geoff Gibbs Theatre

Details

  • Ticket Price:$33-40
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Geoff Gibbs Theatre
  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Type:Youth Art / Performance
  • Music:Blues,Jazz

Description

WAAPA has produced a myriad of innovative and world-class jazz composers and arrangers now located, seen and heard on stages all over the globe. For this special concert we've commissioned brand new music from our alumni, sparked by one central question: How would you change the world? These outstanding jazz scribes will lead us through a unique concert event - interconnected by massive musical ideas for all our ensembles - including a combined Big Band and Vocal Choir. Commissions from star WAAPA Jazz Alumni, including Sarah McKenzie (USA), Matthew Jodrell (USA/MEL), Alana Macpherson (GER), Troy Roberts (USA), Vanessa Perica (MEL), Grant Windsor (UK/PER), Tom O’Halloran (PER/SYD), Johannes Luebbers (MEL). Generously supported by the Minderoo Foundation. Music Director: Tim O'Halloran Performed by: WAAPA Jazz Students

Tango Nuevo

Delve into the evolution of over 60 years of Piazzolla and see how it has deepened the Argentine dance genre, infusing it with elements of jazz, classical chamber music and neo-classicism.

  • Dates:May 6
  • Time(s):7:30pm
  • Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Details

  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Ticket Price:$30
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium
  • Music:Latin,World
  • Performing Arts:Dance

Description

Join Composition and Music Technology students and staff in celebrating the centenary of the birth of the world's foremost composer of tango music, Astor Piazzolla. In this concert students respond to the work of this great 20th century composer by creating 'new' tangos that will be performed by our Dance students. Bookings open now. 

Music Director: Lindsay Vickery
Performed by: Composition and Music Technology students and staff with Dance students

The Warana Prize & Romeo & Juliet

A night of drama and superb musicianship as each student performs their favourite concerto movement and battle it out in the final of the prestigious 2021 Warana Prize

  • Dates:May 7 & 8
  • Time(s):7:30
  • Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Details

  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Ticket Price:$30
  • Music:Orchestral,Classical
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Description

WAAPA’s three leading instrumentalists join the WAAPA Symphony Orchestra to fight for the Warana Prize. Internationally-renowned conductor Peter Moore OAM also leads the orchestra through Elena Kats-Chernin's ravishing Wild Swans Suite and Sergei Prokofiev's thrilling music for Romeo and Juliet, an extraordinary musical tale of doomed love. A wonderful evening of orchestral music at its best. Bookings open now. 

Music Director: Peter Moore OAM
Performed by: WAAPA Symphony Orchestra and Warana Prize finalists

Massed Sax

The biggest saxophone event of its kind in Australia. Saxophone players from every corner of Western Australia and beyond to join in a celebration of the world’s most versatile instrument.

  • Dates:May 9
  • Time(s):7pm
  • Venue:Geoff Gibbs Theatre

Details

  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Ticket Price:$30
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Geoff Gibbs Theatre
  • Music:Classical,Jazz

Description

The Massed Sax project returns to WAAPA in 2021! Led by WAAPA saxophone lecturer Matt Styles and The 'Phone Co., this is an event where the saxophone brings together jazz, classical, contemporary and world music. Bookings open now.

Sax players are invited to register as a participant of the event. All-day workshops for participants are also available. To register your interest as a participant, please contact Elly Welch at e.welch@ecu.edu.au.

Music Director: Matt Styles
Performed by: Matt Styles, The 'Phone Co., and the Massed Sax Orchestra

Super Nova

An electrifying celebration of the art of percussion!

  • Dates:May 13-15
  • Time(s):7:30pm
  • Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Details

  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Ticket Price:$30
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium
  • Music:Classical,World

Description

Mercurial composer, performer and conductor David Pye has transformed the art of percussion in WA. Sparks fly as Pye leads Defying Gravity into a magical world of sound, rhythm and groove – using marimbas, vibraphones and a kaleidoscope of exotic percussion instruments. You’ll also hear percussion masterworks by Edgard Varèse and Iannis Xenakis, plus Brazilian samba. Bookings open April 20.

Directed by: Tim White 
Performed by: Defying Gravity with David Pye

WAAPA Jazz Young Artist Ensemble

An exciting showcase of rising talent in the Western Australian jazz world

  • Dates:May 13
  • Time(s):7.00pm
  • Venue:The Edith Spiegeltent

Details

  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:The Edith Spiegeltent
  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Type:Free,Youth Art / Performance

Description

WAAPA is proud to welcome back this exciting showcase of the rising talent of the Western Australian jazz world. High school students from years 10, 11 and 12 across WA are invited to perform with this elite group and receive tutoring by WAAPA’s incredible Jazz staff. The group meets for six weeks to workshop tunes and ideas for exploration and improvisation, culminating in this unique free concert. Music Directors: Jazz Staff Performed by: Jazz Staff and selected WA High School Jazz Students

Earth, Sea and Sky: Australian Guitar

Combining performances of new and recent Australian guitar works with readings of poems by acclaimed poet Glen Phillips

  • Dates:May 20
  • Time(s):7:30pm
  • Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Details

  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Ticket Price:$23-30
  • Type:Youth Art / Performance
  • Music:Classical
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Description

The creative vision of new Australian music for the guitar is one that is expansive and poetic, adapting to the inspiring vistas of our picturesque landscapes and the oddities of our unique natural environment. This event combines performances of new and recent Australian guitar works with readings of poems by acclaimed poet Glen Phillips – a poet renowned for his expressive depictions of uniquely Western Australian settings. Works include guitar solos and chamber works performed by WAAPA students, staff and selected special guest artists. Music Director: Jonathan Paget Performed by: Guitar students and staff with Glen Philips and guest artists

American Beauty

A program of sensational string chamber music, directed by Paul Wright and headlined by Aaron Copland’s thrilling Clarinet Concerto performed by WAAPA’s Head of Woodwind, Philip Everall.

  • Dates:May 21
  • Time(s):7.30pm
  • Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Details

  • Ticket Price:$23-30
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium
  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Type:Youth Art / Performance
  • Music:Classical,Jazz,Orchestral

Description

Composed for the renowned jazz clarinettist Benny Goodman, the work showcases Latin-American rhythms and a virtuosic cadenza. This modern American beauty complements Tchaikovsky’s romantic String Sextet ‘Souvenir de Florence’, written as a tribute to the composer’s favourite European city, plus other string chamber gems. Music Director: Paul Wright Performed by: String Camerata with Philip Everall

Brassed Off

Showcasing contemporary pop songs with a funky brass flavour that is guaranteed to get you moving

  • Dates:May 22
  • Time(s):7.30pm
  • Venue:The Edith Spiegeltent

Details

  • Ticket Price:$13-20
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:The Edith Spiegeltent
  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Music:Jazz

Description

Brassed Off returns for 2021 with an exciting foray into New Orleans funk. This concert showcases contemporary pop songs with a funky brass flavour that is guaranteed to get you moving. Featuring the full gamut of brass instruments, from sousaphone to pocket trumpet, this will be an epic adventure – don’t miss out! Music Director: Jeremy Greig Performed by: Jazz Brass students, staff and community