Monash University Performing Arts Centres (MPAC) has announced a jam-packed program of events for 2024, including live music, captivating dance, premiere theatre shows and much-loved festivals. Following a stellar year of shows across multiple state-of-the-art venues, audiences can expect more world-class events for unforgettable experiences throughout 2024.
“What makes MPAC so compelling as a destination for lovers of performing arts is that our venues are among the best, featuring the latest technology in theatre and sound, and our jazz club The Count’s is about the best place in greater Melbourne to experience a huge range of cool music, but that’s not the full story. We are part of a dynamic world-renowned university, so we can plug into the research and ideas that are the engine room of Monash and create unique opportunities. I think of it as serious fun.” – Executive Director MPAC, Paul Grabowsky AO
2024 program highlights include:
Hold Me Closer Tony Danza by The Farm has been commissioned by MPAC, Carriageworks, Dancehouse and the Keir Foundation for the 2020 Keir Choreographic Award. This Melbourne premiere is an immersive dance-theatre experience that offers the audience the chance to to pick a side, show their true colours and get ready to dance-off as if their lives depend on it. The Farm is a contemporary dance-theatre company located on the Gold Coast with roots in Berlin. Expect a deeply satirical edge as Tony confronts our modern world through the subversion of its pop sensibilities, taking place on 1 – 3 May in the David Li Sound Gallery.
St Matthew’s Passion has been commissioned by MPAC and presents a unique and ground-breaking performance of J. S. Bach’s masterpiece. The St Matthew Passion is widely regarded as one of the greatest pieces of Baroque sacred music. Dramatic and powerful, the work portrays the last days of Jesus’s life. Led by choral orchestral specialist Michael Fulcher, this intimate performance will involve some of Australia’s finest musicians, including Polyphonic Voices, The Choir of Trinity College, the Australian Boys Choir and many more, in the acoustically exquisite Alexander Theatre on 24 March.
Wayfinder (pictured above) comes to the Alexander Theatre on 18 October, for an exhilarating explosion of heart from Dancenorth Australia, set to new music by three-time Grammy nominated Australian band Hiatus Kaiyote. Directed by Amber Haines and Kyle Page, Dancenorth Australia joins forces with Hiatus Kaiyote and sound artist Byron J. Scullin to create a soaring composition evoking pleasure and possibility. An undulating sound sculpture condenses and expands this scintillating score, immersing audiences in a new sonic dimension. This sublime new performance speaks to our sensorial nature, featuring Hiromi Tango’s joyful, heart-expanding stage design and costume. Wayfinder is Presented by MPAC, in association with Melbourne Fringe.
In 2024 MPAC’s much-loved festivals and series will be returning. Audiences can expect an extended season for Live at The Count’s – a fabulous program of jazz, soul, blues and contemporary music, produced by respected jazz vocalist, Chelsea Wilson, running from 21 February – 27 November, following on from its huge success this year. Audiences are welcome to arrive early and enjoy delicious food and drink at The Count’s bar and bistro before the show.
Sundays in the Sound Gallery, with six Sundays of modern chamber music, in the acoustically superb David Li Sound Gallery. Highlights for this series include an MPAC commission of brand-new work by renowned Australian artist, composer and percussionist, Matthias Shack-Arnott. In this extraordinary performance, Schack-Arnott collaborates with Amelia Lever-Davidson to create a work for percussion, light sources and immersive electronic sound. Utilising the Meyer Sound Constellation system in the David Li Sound Gallery to its full potential, the work creates pulsating rhythmic waves of sound that shift in synchronicity with Lever-Davidson’s expansive lighting design. Other artists taking to the David Li sound Gallery stage for this series are Joseph Tawadros, Lisa Moore, Ziggy & Miles, Collide and First Nations violinist, Eric Avery.
The annual jam-packed school holiday festival of art and live performance Family Fiesta will return in the July school holidays. Families can soak up the lively atmosphere with captivating shows and events, making a day out of it with free babyccinos and fun for the whole family, all at low ticket prices or free.
The Indian Performing Arts Convention (IPAC) returns to the Alexander Theatre for a captivating Carnatic musical and dance showcase on 20 – 26 May. IPAC is an annual celebration of creativity with performances, collaborations and talks by acclaimed musicians and dancers from India, Singapore, and Australia, with a focus on cultivating a new generation of artists, creating new work, and fostering cross-disciplinary collaboration.
The Monash Academy Orchestra (MAO) will present three concerts during 2024 in April, May and August. The performances will be conducted by Roger Benedict, Carolyn Walton and Ben Northey. Featuring the work of Australian composers and more, with students from the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance as well as musicians from the wider university community, and professional mentors.
The Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra (ARCO) will present a stunning concert series, exclusive to MPAC in 2023.
Bell Shakespeare, Australia’s national theatre company specialising in the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream, on 16 May. Shakespeare’s classic comedy will be reawakened in this breathless production brimming with magic, mirth and mayhem, taking place in the Alexander Theatre.
Award-winning Indigenous writer, director and actor Glenn Shea presents Three Magpies Perched in a Tree on 11 September for a beautiful, heart-breaking play of the Indigenous Gothic genre that provides spiritual reprieve through Creation Stories.
2024 promises to be another year brimming with shows, events and festivals, presenting wonderful experiences for all. Tickets are on sale now.
Monash University Performing Arts Centres (MPAC) is the public performing arts and cultural arm of Monash University. MPAC venues are vital to the cultural life of the University, and act as a window to Melbourne’s south east community, welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors to the university each year. MPAC seeks to connect, challenge and excite its audiences through the commissioning of unique works, along with curating a program that brings the best of local, national and international performing artists to its stages. MPAC is home to five venues, located at the Monash University Clayton and Peninsula campuses; the 561-seat Alexander Theatre, 130-seat David Li Sound Gallery, 150-seat jazz club The Count’s; with weekly gigs and restaurant & bar, plus the 1,598-seat Robert Blackwood Hall and 426-seat George Jenkins Theatre.