Andrew Bleby has produced, managed and directed a wide range of projects in the performing arts, both independently and with other organisations.
For a full list of projects and clients including consultancies, see Clients and Testimonials.
Some of his other significant leadership roles over forty years are highlighted here:
Curator and Creative Producer
Andrew Bleby programmed and produced the 2014 Melbourne Festival Circus Program – a new centrepiece program of the Festival. Shows from Canada, Belgium and Australia received standing ovations while The Nanjing Project, a four-week Australia-China project produced by Andrew Bleby featured top Chinese acrobats working with a new generation of Australian circus students in a sellout show at Arts Centre Melbourne. There was also an international Circus Futures Forum and an electronic retrospective of Circus Oz.
ABA has produced two astonishing Synaesthesia weekend festivals at Tasmania’s amazing Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in 2012 and 2014. The event achieved legendary success, being praised by some as “the best thing to ever have happened at MONA”. Synaesthesia+ was produced for MONA in collaboration with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and featured dozens of musical masterpieces performed inside the museum and designed to heighten all the senses. The festival was initiated by Lyndon Terracini in 2012 and put together musically in 2014 by Artistic Directors Brian Ritchie and Simon Rogers and featured incredible new works from the TSO, Robin Fox going crazy with his immersive Colour Organ and the famed violinist Richard Tognetti playing Bach in a cage built for strippers.
WORLD WAR I COMMEMORATION
Andrew Bleby was Artistic Director of the Melbourne Town Hall World War 1 Commemoration in August 2014. Praise for the event, produced by our friends at Megafun, was genuine and effusive. The evening featured ten-screen multi-media visuals, live performance vignettes, a palm court orchestra, songs of the time sung by Deborah Conway, Archie Roach, Claire Bowditch and others, the Town Hall organ, a 65-voice children’s choir, the Premier and a three-camera live transmission to the Big Screen at a Federation Square Live Site and webstream.
Andrew Bleby produced the first edition of this sensational new festival in Hobart, Tasmania, in early 2009 following an ABA Feasibility Study in 2008. From 20011 – 13, ABA and Insite Arts produced a string of successful MOFOs, as well as the lavish opening of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) itself. A Helpmann Award-winner in 2012, MONA FOMA (The Museum of Old and New Art’s Festival Of Music and Art) is now the hottest attraction in Tasmania.
In another first, ABA prepared a feasibility study for a new series of outdoor concerts by Orchestra Victoria in regional centres, transmitted live by satellite to a Live Site in another city. The first of these was produced by ABA in February 2009 in Bendigo, transmitting to Shepparton and Federation Square, Melbourne. The event was surrounded by supporting performances and a street party, and played free to 5,000 people in Bendigo’s Rosalind Park. A second concert in 2011 thrilled an audience of 6,000 people on the Waterfront in Geelong.
Festival Melbourne 2006, the hugely successful $12m cultural program of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, was the largest fully curated festival ever held in Australia and the largest free arts festival ever produced here. Two million people came to the city centre and four regional venues to experience free performances and events from every region of the Commonwealth. As Executive Producer of the Performing Arts Program, Andrew Bleby steered the event from tender-winning conception to Helpmann Award-winning execution in an atmosphere of smoothly managed celebration which shone for eleven days.
The 2007 FINA Festival, commissioned by the Victorian Government, added a new international dimension to the World Swimming Championships held in Melbourne in 2007. International music, street theatre, circus and visual installations brought the Yarra Riverprecinct alive for three extraordinary days.
Andrew Bleby produced the National Institute of Circus Arts’ first graduation show, its first off-campus show at Federation Square, and its first touring show for Victorian regional venues. He was also invited to present the keynote address at the 2006 graduation ceremony.
For three amazing years at the beginning of this century, Melbourne ’s Moomba Festival was transformed into an international street theatre festival, along with a parade of redesigned trams and a Garden Party of contemporary indigenous music from across Australia . The reviews were excellent and attendances rose. Andrew Bleby was General Manager during this period.
Executive Producer / Associate Producer
During the 1990s, Andrew Bleby was Associate or Executive Producer of a range of large-scale touring musicals and West End plays for the Adelaide Festival Centre, including an 18-month tour of 42nd Street and the transfer of The King and I to Broadway where it won 4 Tony Awards.
Andrew Bleby was Program Director for the Adelaide Festival Centre during arguably its most exciting and prolific time, presenting a huge range of performing arts programs and series as well as producing musicals which travelled to Asia and the USA. Andrew oversaw the Centre’s 25th Birthday celebrations in 1998.
The Next Wave Festival, Melbourne ’s renowned festival for young and emerging artists across a range of art forms, was founded by Andrew Bleby in 1985. He was inaugural Director of the festival and oversaw its growth and development for the first six years of its life. Click Here for More
The one-off Australian International Puppet Festival captivated Adelaide in 1983. The largest puppet festival held in Australia before or since, it provided ten days of non-stop puppet performance, workshop and discussion featuring puppet artists from all over the world.