BNE Open House – QPAC

As of this post goes to this site, I have not completed my NAB reportage. But still, is it wrong to start another one?

Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) is the last Brisbane Open House building that I visited. They had a tour around the building in the morning. Unfortunately, I wasn’t involved in the morning tour and instead join their organ experience in the evening at 4.30pm.

A brief background, QPAC is Brisbane’s answer to Singapore’s Esplanade. It is part of the Cultural Centre precinct in South Brisbane. This year, QPAC held the performances of Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Don Quixote and Jesus Christ Superstar to name a few.

However, the opposition in the sunshine state wants more QPAC in Brisbane. Saying that Melbourne with 4 millions people has five times more performing arts venue equivalent to QPAC-scale but Brisbane has only one. Since I’m a newcomer in this city, I wouldn’t further comment in this issue.

On that day, there were only two Klais Grand Organ Experience. At 4.35pm, the tour just started (it started late) and QPAC staff welcomed tour participants to the Lyric Hall. We sat down and a host gave us a brief introduction. Question session was available at the end of the ‘experience’. Playing the organ is Dr Robert Boughen.


I am not an expert in music so my judgement might be basic, bias and you can label me an ‘idiot’ on this matter. This is the first time I’ve been to a concert hall in my lifetime. Don’t ask me about the QPAC facility but rather ask my dear friend in Singapore who commented that there are only five performing arts venue with facility as good as Esplanade, Theatres by the Bay (and I’ll bet if he reads this article he’ll comment that some of the term I used are wrong).

Dr Robert Boughen played Phantom of the Opera and Ave Maria during the experience and I must say I quite enjoy it. It’s free after all. He told us that the organ was made in Bonn, Germany. And the cost of bringing the organ from Bonn to Brisbane doesn’t cost Queensland’s taxpayers a single cent extra. It was delievered on time. He later jokingly added that “You read on the Courier Mail (Brisbane’s local daily newspaper), how many government projects with costs increased?”

Lighting effect in action

During question time, one of the audience asked how many pipes are there in the organ. Dr Boughen pretended counting and in a matter of mere seconds say 6,566. Don’t ask me whether it’s huge or small, a music sanction was imposed upon me throughout my four years in Singapore.

Another person asked about wind pressure on the pipe. Dr Boughen simply replied, “Now, you’ve gone too technical”. A lady wondered whether the organ can be used to play jazz. Dr Boughen humbly played a jazz song for that lady. What a nice touch.

The experience ended after the question time and I do hope one day I will sit at QPAC watching a performance. And by the way there is a restaurant located at QPAC as well.


Worried about transport? There is plenty parking space at the Cultural Centre precinct or you can take bus until Cultural Centre busway station or take a train to South Brisbane station.


Have a great day every one!


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