By Mitchell Van Homrigh. Edited for online by Rachel Riga.
The Spring Hill Reservoirs will open its doors for the first time in decades as Brisbane’s Underground Opera Company stages its latest production in one of the old tanks.
The historic venue was built in the early 1800s and has remained off limits to the public until now.
Underground Opera Company director Bruce Edwards says he has always focused on performing in unusual areas.
“We actually produce opera concerts around the country and where we can we put them underground in mines, tunnels and caves and now hot water reservoirs,” he said.
“It’s a different sort of set up with you taking an audience down into a 150-year-old water tank.”
Mr Edward says the combination of the extraordinary venue and high quality performance will help attract audiences to their show.
“For our demographic we’ve had audience members as young as two and the oldest we’ve had is 93,” he said.
Mr Edward says the discovery of the venue happened through a chance conversation with members of the National Trust.
National Trust executive officer Stuart Armstrong says the venue makes an ideal performance space for underground opera company.
“It’s such an usual space and people have been trying to look for a use for that for a long time,” he said.
After talks with the National Trust and the Brisbane City Council it was discovered $150,000 was required to make the space performance ready.
With the assistance of Archipelago Architects, Aecon Mining and Ghella Tunneling, the rediscovered venue was made operational.
Archipelago Architects director Pete Edwards says he is excited by the prospect of the building reopening.
“This is a building where no contemporary drawings exist – this is the first time the building will be publicly occupied in its life,” he said.