The phenomenally successful Hobart Baroque early music festival is heading north.

Inaugurated in 2013, the festival gained near-instantaneous nationwide critical and public acclaim.

In just two years, it garnered no fewer than five Helpmann Award nominations and won last year’s award for the Best Individual Classical Performance, an event featuring the sensational Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

When a cut in state funding in Tasmania threatened the festival’s future, Queensland recognised the importance and significance of the event.

BRISBANE BAROQUE is supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, the Federal Ministry for the Arts, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Griffith University and Queensland Conservatorium, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School, and Opera Queensland, and will debut in Brisbane on Friday April 10 and run until Saturday April 18.

Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Leanne Coddington said cultural tourism was a significant contributor to the economy and vibrant events such as Brisbane Baroque were an important lure in attracting more visitors to Queensland.

“Given its proven track record, TEQ expects the event to compete globally with other major international Baroque festivals such as the Valletta International Baroque in Malta, the Boston Early Music Festival in the USA, and the Göttingen International Handel Festival in Germany,” Ms Coddington said.

“Brisbane Baroque is an exciting addition to the impressive suit of unique cultural events staged exclusively in Brisbane promoted as part of It’s Live! which demonstrates our commitment to bringing Australia’s best live events to Australia’s best destinations.”

In a major coup, the organisers have secured an acclaimed production of one of Handel’s rarest operas, Faramondo. Never before seen in Australia, the staging, premiered in May of this year, is directed by Scottish NIDA graduate Paul Curran whose career now embraces the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Fenice in Venice, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and other major European and north American opera houses. His production comes from the Internationale Händel Festival in Göttingen, inaugurated in 1920 and generally acknowledged as the catalyst for the modern revival of interest in Handel’s music. As with all elements of the program, Faramondo is exclusive to Brisbane.

Executive Director Jarrod Carland praised Brisbane for its vision and for the collegiality of its cultural institutions.

“Not only will Brisbane Baroque feature leading overseas artists” says Mr. Carland, ”it will also provide an opportunity to showcase the talents of young Australian and Queensland musicians.”

A special one-off grant from the Federal Minister for the Arts will be dedicated to welcoming home young Australian performers on the threshold of major international careers as well as emerging local musicians.

“I have had a five-year association with Brisbane as consultant to QPAC on their ground-breaking International Series,” says Mr. Leo Schofield AM, Artistic Director of Brisbane Baroque. “ This city aspires to be the cultural capital of Australia and in recent years has made huge strides towards that goal. Queenslanders certainly understand the value of cultural tourism which is why a unique festival of early music has such appeal.”