About The Trust

The Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust has supported the arts in Australia by Australian’s and for Australian’s since 1954.

The Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust Activities

  • In 1954 The Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust (The Trust) was established “to provide a theatre of Australians by Australians for Australians”. With substantial contributions from both the public and the Commonwealth Government, The Trust’s evolution commemorated the first visit of Her Majesty the Queen, who had taken the title “Queen of Australia” in 1953, and ever since The  Trust has been the only arts body to enjoy her patronage and indeed, by her gracious permission, to bear her name.
  • The hope in 1954 was that there would occur in the arts in Australia a new Elizabethan age, as productive and inspiring as the first Elizabethan age in England in the sixteenth century. Those hopes have been realised and indeed exceeded by what has followed.
  • The Trust has nurtured and seen to independence the great artistic companies of this land including Opera Australia and the Australian Ballet Foundation. The Trust also formed, maintained and administered two music Opera and Ballet orchestras, one each in Sydney and Melbourne, to accompany ballet and opera companies, and one smaller orchestra of Sydney freelance musicians named the Elizabethan Sinfonietta.
  • Other companies initiated by the Trust include The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), The Marionette Theatre, The Australian Chamber Orchestra, The Australian Ballet School, The Theatre of the Deaf, Performing Lines and The Bell Shakespeare Company
  • In 2000 the Trust launched its international music scholarship program for Australian singers, musicians and conductors wishing to undertake overseas music study. This exciting initiative assists musicians, singers and conductors in all music genres in making a unique, original and valuable contribution to Australian Culture.
  • Since 2000 there have been 107 music scholarships awarded with a total value of $1,337,559. Of these there have been 29 awards to singers for study in the Netherlands, U.K., France, U.S.A., Germany and Italy. Musicians have received awards for chamber music, orchestral and solo study in U.K. Europe and U.S.A. There are no restrictions on scholars applying for further assistance and it is The Trust’s view that it should stand by and support, when practical, a scholars’ musical development for life.
  • In 2004 The Trust purchased the Independent Theatre at North Sydney and undertook a major acoustical and heritage refurbishment of the venue. This initiative resulted in the production of a fine chamber music venue with an outstanding acoustic quality for both performers and audience. The Trust sold the Independent in 2013 to Wenona School who have continued the chamber music programs.
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