Having previously reported that Australian National Academy of Music is facing uncertainty over its South Melbourne home (that situation is still not resolved), we now learn that Orchestra Victoria is required to leave its premises close by in Albert Park. The heritage-listed former Army Band Barracks building which it presently leases from Parks Victoria will be turned over to a new school.
The situation has been brewing since last November when the Victorian Government confirmed the creation of the new South Melbourne Park Primary School on the site. However, no alternative home for OV has been secured. ArtsHub says that the orchestra was notified last year and will be required to vacate by early December this year.
OV has occupied the Army Band Barracks since it left the Victorian Arts Centre in 2001.
The 50-member Orchestra, which is a subsidiary of The Australian Ballet, is a performance partner of that company, Opera Australia and Victorian Opera. Under its artistic director, Nicolette Fraillon, it also gives its own independent concerts.
Australian Ballet’s Executive Director Libby Christie told ArtsHub: ‘What we’d love to do is find a permanent home for the Orchestra but we know that we’d be unlikely to find something suitable in that short term, but we want to find something that the Orchestra can move into as soon after the first of December as possible.”
The problem looming is that very time OV will be playing again for Opera Australia’s remount of Wagner’s Ring Cycle – that production runs November 21 to December 16. Let’s hopes a solution is reached well ahead of then.