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Melville Ladies Visit to WAAPA

Another special day out for the Melville Ladies Probus Club happened this month with the long awaited opportunity to visit the renowned and respected WAAPA.

The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) at Edith Cowan University (ECU) was established in 1980 to provide tuition for the performing arts.

WAAPA has an international reputation for excellence, emphasised by the success of graduates such as Hugh Jackman, Jai Courtney, Frances O'Connor, Marcus Graham, Rachael Maza, Dominic Purcell, and William McInnes. These and many other WAAPA alumni have established careers in theatre, film, television and radio both in Australia and internationally.

Aside from these well acknowledged stars there are many, many more talented young people who have learned their skills in all facets of theatre, music and dance at WAAPA. The names of graduates often roll past in the credits of international movies – even Global Awards - for the unheralded pre performance work “back stage and behind the scenes” in the less glamorous professions.

Professor Julie Warn AM, Executive Dean of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) said…..

“One of the aspects of WAAPA of which I am most proud and which distinguishes it from other performing arts academies is the multi-faceted range of courses we offer: from ballet and contemporary dance to jazz, composition and music technology; from opera, classical and contemporary music to performance making, musical theatre, acting and Aboriginal theatre; plus all the amazing ‘behind the scenes’ courses – arts management, costume, design, lighting, stage management, sound, props and scenery.”

“Today, it (WAAPA) is recognised as one of the leading performing arts academies in the world, regularly attracting students, staff and visiting artists from all over Australia and internationally,” Professor Warn said.

After a visit to the stage to be shown how the sets and backdrops were able to be quickly hauled up and changed for the next scene, the Probus group was treated to a series of soliloquys; five or six talented young singers with remarkable, strong voices and excellent diction. They were able to convey the sentiment of their song with volume and emotion.

Next was a tour of the working areas including set design and construction, lighting and props, followed by a final rehearsal of a modern dance from an Aboriginal dance group to be performed in the city the following day.

After lunch break members were treated to the “Classical Tuesday” performance by talented young musicians, the finalists, competing in the Royal Over-Seas League Chamber Music Competition 2018. Five groups, each group, of three to five musicians, mastered a range of instruments from piano, strings, woodwind and percussion including a marimba, extraordinarily, played simultaneously by the three musicians.

The talent and dedication of all these students to reach such a professional standard is truly awe inspiring.