Help the performing arts recover

Sit back and delve into Arts Centre Melbourne stories with artist interviews, behind-the-scenes articles, iconic moments and more.


A drag performer backstage at Pokey's Nightclub

Legends of Drag

The most flamboyant and fabulous performances of them all are drag! These fantastic photographs from Pokeys drag show at the Prince of Wales Hotel in St Kilda have been acquired thanks to the David Richards Gift.

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Lisa Roet with her sculpture of David Greybeard

The chimpanzee who changed everything

Ahead of its installation on the Hamer Hall Terrace in December, we talk about the large-scale sculpture of iconic chimpanzee David Greybeard and the questions it raises about questions around humanity’s relationship with nature and our closest living animal relative.

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The Australian Ballet perform The Sleeping Beauty, 1984

A party to wake Sleeping Beauty – our opening night anniversary

On 29 October 1984, our Theatres building opened to the public with a celebration to wake Sleeping Beauty – complete with a late night party on the State Theatre Stage! We look back on the night that was, and share anecdotes from guests who were there on the night.

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Interviewees from the Australian Music Vault's Banding Together series

'Snugglepot and Cuddlepie': From Page to Stage

For The Australian Ballet’s 1988 production of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie we reveal how designer Hugh Colman brought some of Australia’s most cherished book characters to the stage.

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Olivia Newton-John

Australian Music Vault: Olivia Newton-John

We take a look at a number of prized possessions acquired by the Australian Performing Arts Collection representing the contributions and achievements of one of Australia’s most important artists, Olivia Newton-John.

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Moira Finucane's new work I Miss You Antarctica was developed as part of the Take Over! 2020 program, where independent artists undertook digital residencies from home during lockdown in the lead up to their presentation at Melbourne Fringe.

In a world where arts makers and lovers are experiencing a global pandemic, both the application and presentation outcomes of Take Over! have been reimagined for the digital space.

Every year Arts Centre Melbourne celebrates Care More Week – a hands-on program of activities for all staff, focused on supporting their health and wellbeing.

While our shopping malls are missing their usual bustling crowds, Melbourne’s laneways remain hidden and retailers’ physical doors are closed – the virtual world of shopping and online entertainment are buzzing.

Creative Director Stephen Armstrong reflects on the recent festival and what the future holds for the triennial.

In rapid response to the challenges of COVID-19, the Australian Music Vault has created a series of video stories and interviews that capture, in real time, the impact of the pandemic on our Australian music community.

The last six months have been especially tough for the performing arts community, and the impact of COVID-19 has drastically affected the mental health of thousands of Australia’s creatives.

You never forget your first time at the theatre. Whether it’s the physical feats of the performers, the whisper of anticipation as the lights go down, or the perfect detail on a costume – these memories are the beginnings for many of a life-long love-affair with the stage.

Under the guidance of strict safety and physical distancing protocols, a team of builders, engineers and staging professionals has been hard at work to replace our State Theatre flying system.

From dress rehearsals to a packed house at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, there’s practically no part of Arts Centre Melbourne that Mark hasn’t seen.

As you walk through the lush green gardens of King’s Domain towards the Sidney Myer Music Bowl main entrance, a striking new mural will meet your gaze.

Dr Kate Rice is the inaugural Frank Van Straten Fellow.

In 1919, the global influenza pandemic also forced restrictions on public gatherings and the closure of theatres across Australia.

Don Quixote marks an historic moment in the life of The Australian Ballet and the company’s association with the world famous Russian ballet star, Rudolf Nureyev.

The best music festival to never happen.

An object that can take your breath away.

The 2020 National Indigenous Music Awards Hall of Fame inductee.

Our team have hand-picked their favourite family friendly experiences to enjoy at home.

The Australian Ballet’s production of The Merry Widow has all the elements of a Hollywood film, including a cast of glamorous characters led by the widow herself, Hanna Glawari.

In 1960, Dame Joan Sutherland was crowned ‘La Stupenda’ – the stupendous one – after a remarkable performance in the title role of Alcina at Teatro La Fenice, in Venice.

Companies like Rawcus, and others, are responding to the COVID-19 restrictions by pursuing new possibilities for performance, connection and artistic development.

With parents and caregivers having to become part-time teachers, and educators supporting students remotely – we’re all having to work in new ways.

The action-packed origins of The Australian Ballet’s Spartacus

Dame Edna Everage has long been an Australian fashion and comedy icon. Along the way, the work of British photographer John Timbers has been central to Dame Edna’s public image.

This July our country’s most respected and loved First Nations artists came together for a huge online concert celebrating Vic NAIDOC Week.

This year, 2020, marks the centenary of the birth of Australian artist Arthur Boyd.

To celebrate the online season of this work, Uncle Jack Charles (writer and performer) and Rachael Maza (Director) reflect on what it was like creating this award-winning production.

Learn how Arts Centre Melbourne’s provocative theatre commission Anthem made it from page to stage, and hear directly from the five creatives behind the work.

July 2020 marks the 62nd anniversary of the release of one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most iconic songs, ‘Wild One’.

A long term favourite with ballet audiences, the 19th century classic Coppélia takes centre stage again as part of The Australian Ballet’s 2020 digital season.

In this illustrative sweep of the Australian Performing Arts Collection we pay tribute to the kimono.

Unveiling the stories behind Dame Edna’s Scream Dress

So you find some boxes while clearing out under the house.

We dive deeper into how to look after your photography collections long term.

The Australian Performing Arts Collection team share their stories about the vest and white pants worn by Graeme Shirley Strachan of Skyhooks.

The Australian Performing Arts Collection goes on tour, and sometimes it needs a chaperone.

Dame Nellie Melba and Percy Grainger were two of the most famous Australians of their time. Both achieved success on the world stage and became household names in the country of their birth.

Did you know that on the site of Arts Centre Melbourne, there were once circuses, a roller skating rink, a dance hall, and even a water slide?

Those Who Rock, saw Hamer Hall erupt with rock music and spark a true community spirit.

As the 2020 AFL season resumes, we tackle one of choreographer Graeme Murphy’s most beloved works, Beyond Twelve.

Laurel Frank has been designing and making costumes for Circus Oz since it was founded in 1978.

Jenna Blyth, Registrar, Music and Art reflects on her favourite item from the Australian Performing Arts Collection.

Showcasing the creative vision of designer Jennifer Irwin, whose journey with The Australian Ballet has generated some of the company’s most innovative moments in costume design.

Australia has a rich performing arts culture but how do you capture this in a museum collection?

How do you tour an exhibition that includes precious costumes and objects?

Watch archival footage of some of the remarkable performances behind three incredible costumes worn by Dame Joan Sutherland over her 40-year career.

Dame Nellie Melba was Australia's first international star. Yet despite her fame and glamour...

To celebrate National Volunteers Week we’ve spoken with two of our wonderful volunteers to get their insights on working with the Australian Performing Arts Collection.

Arts Centre Melbourne venues have inspired many artists, both professional and budding.

Despite the illusions of glamour and excitement, working in the arts can be a rocky road.

“Three women, two guitars, one spirit.” This is the phrase that truly encapsulates Tiddas’ stories, songs and sound.

What does it take to be a mum in the music industry?

We are digging deep into the glorious depths of The Australian Ballet Collection to bring you design highlights from their acclaimed productions.

The Act Drop – State Theatre curtain is quite possibly the hardest working object we have.

3D scanning for costumes is proving to be a fascinating endeavour, with intriguing potential.

Tash Sultana is an artist who has always done things their own way.

Music and sport in Australia have shared a dynamic relationship for many years.

Jane Gazzo speaks to Ken Connor about the secret to RocKwiz’s ongoing popularity...

When the music world lost David McComb in February 1999, Triffids fans felt they’d lost their torch-bearer.

Vika and Linda Bull reflect on their illustrious 30 year career and speak candidly to Jane Gazzo about first gigs, their Tongan ancestry and the Australian music industry.

Jeff Jenkins explores why these iconic guitars have been at the core of Aussie music for over 70 years.

"Indigenous Australian hip hop is a powerful musical force to be reckoned with, and enjoyed for its contribution to complex social, cultural and political messages in contemporary Australian conversations"

Jeff Jenkins looks at the uniquely Melbourne protest movement that continues to shape the city’s live music culture.

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