Brad Jarrett


“Brad Jarrett has been an important element in the stability of our permanent ensemble company … He is concerned with the welfare and morale of the artists and staff with whom he works, and has an ability to communicate with artists and staff at many levels,” Moffatt Oxenbould AM (Former Artistic Director, Opera Australia).

Brad is currently the Artistic Administrator of Opera Queensland. He was one of the original members of the ‘Q Theatre Co’ in 1976, and prior to entering tertiary education performed as an actor/singer in a number of amateur and professional musical and drama productions (Arsenic and Old Lace, Pride and Prejudice, Prometheus Bound, The Gondoliers, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) as well as television series (The Young Doctors) and commercials.

He holds a BMG Diploma in Guitar and studied classical singing for several years from esteemed teachers such as Kathleen Horne, Pamela Mildenhall, Florence Taylor and John Fulford. After completing a Diploma in Teaching in 1980, with majors in both Music and Theatre Arts, he joined the Opera Australia (then The Australian Opera) Stage Management Department, ultimately attaining the position of Senior Stage Manager.

In his 11 years with Opera Australia, he worked on more than 55 operas, and stage managed many of the most successful productions performed at the Sydney Opera House, including the sensational staging of Vitttorio Rossi’s Arena production of Turandot at the Sydney Football Stadium. Other productions include the inaugural live simulcasts on ABC, the inaugural Opera in the Park in Parramatta, Opera in the Domain, concerts and important events in the company’s history including Dame Joan Sutherland’s final performances of Lucia di Lammermoor and Les Huguenots, Luciano Pavarotti’s company debut in La bohème, and Baz Luhrmann’s first foray into opera with Lake Lost. He has worked in every major theatre in Australia and with a great many international and Australian directors and designers, conductors and singers including Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Rita Hunter, Leonie Rysanek, Sherrill Milnes and Fiorenza Cossotto. During this time he also served as a trustee of the Australian Opera Benevolent Fund and has donated his services to manage major concerts and events for charity.

Brad went freelance in 1992, where for the next three years he worked in a variety of roles in theatre and opera, ranging from Stage Management to Company Management and Resident Director, both in Australia and in Europe.

In 1995, Brad was invited by entrepreneur Dick Enthoven to implement his vision for an annual arts festival in Cape Town, South Africa. For five years, Brad was CEO and Artistic Director of The Spier Summer Festival, planning and implementing five-month seasons that incorporated all genres of the performing arts, including the mounting of eight new opera productions.

Brad returned to Australia in 2000, and joined Opera Queensland in 2001 where he took up his present position of Artistic Administrator. His contribution to the company is well noted. Brad was instrumental in lifting the profile of the Young Artist Program (YAP) with the inclusion of six South African male singers in the 2003–2005 Young Artist Program. This involved a national audition process in South Africa, with many of the artists going on to other esteemed programs internationally.

He has been responsible for numerous initiatives including the refinement of contracts to incorporate broadcast/simulcast rights, and has been progressive in the area of artist development. With his broad experience he has been able to contribute to the company’s audience development and engagement initiatives and supported the relatively new area of philanthropy.

He is passionate about collaborations and partnerships and in his time with the company has renewed the focus on nurturing young artists, local talent and Australian artists, while at the same time seeking new and exciting international talent, many of whom have made their company and Australian debuts.

Brad has sat on the panel of adjudicators for the Dame Joan Sutherland Award for the past seven years as well as the South East Queensland Aria Competition and University of Queensland Vocal Award. In 2008, Brad was invited to Moscow to sit on the panel of the Galina Vishnevskaya International Singing Competition. In April 2003, Brad was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal for Service to Australian society and Opera.