Established in 2001, the Adelaide Art Orchestra (AdAO) is a professional ensemble that can vary in size from just a handful of players to full-scale backing. They boast more than 120 Adelaide Cabaret Festival shows under their belt already and, this year, are providing 76 musicians to the Festival, filling 123 player spots across 14 shows, some of which are still to come.
Founded by Artistic Director Timothy Sexton and concertmaster Carolyn Lam, the AdAO have also performed for State Opera SA, ABC Classic FM (Sunday Live), the annual Christmas Proms, the Clipsal 500, the Festival Theatre productions of South Pacific, the Pirates of Penzance, A Chorus Line and The Mikado, numerous film scores, and many more.
The orchestra comprises top freelance professional players in South Australia. Over the past few years in the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, they have been in high demand, having supported such international luminaries as Natalie Cole, Bernadette Peters, Olivia Newton John, Idina Menzel, Kristen Chenoweth and Michael Feinstein, to name just a few.
Later this year, the AdAO will be playing for Deborah Cheetham’s opera Pecan Summer in Her Majesty’s Theatre in early July, joining the Adelaide International Guitar Festival with a 50-piece orchestra for Pepe Romero and Yamandú Costa on 18 July, and featuring in Akhnaten and Einstein on the Beach (part of the three opera, world first Philip Glass Trilogy being staged by State Opera SA) from 5 – 23 August.
The quality and capacity of the Adelaide Art Orchestra can often be the clincher that lets Adelaide experience such large-scale productions, so next time you race to the theatre in awe of the headline act, spare a thought for the unsung heroes behind them or in the pit, making that memory possible.
Find out more about AdAO from the Adelaide Art Orchestra website.