Bunjil Place in Melbourne's southeast might be the newest arts centre kid on the block, but it's certainly a new kid that's pulling its weight. The Narre Warren cultural precinct opened in 2017, and incorporates an 800-seat theatre, exhibition and function spaces, a gallery, a library and a civic centre as well as offices. And it has already won awards, taking out the Architecture of the Year prize at the 2017 International Design Awards.
Major players in the Melbourne dance, opera and theatre scene will head to Bunjil Place this July, including the Narre Warren venue in their touring sights. No longer just the domain of those who live in the inner city, Bunjil Place will host performances from The Australian Ballet, Opera Australia and Bell Shakespeare.
Opera Australia will perform heartbreaker Madame Butterfly, Puccini's epic operatic love story between a US Navy sailor and a Japanese woman, on Saturday, July 17. Directed by John Bell, the performance will include a children's choir partly drawn from Berwick's Melbourne Youth Chorale.
The Australian Ballet's regional touring company will include Bunjil Place on its tour on Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21, presenting Coppélia, the story of an enchanted doll and the poor sucker who falls in love with her, thinking she's real.
For serious theatre-goers, there's good news here too: Bell Shakespeare will perform Shakespeare's treacherous Julius Caesar, on Tuesday, July 31. Broken hearts and bodies all around.