World-class talent announced as key teams for GC2018 ceremonies revealed

Anticipation levels jumped up a notch today as Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) revealed some of the key artistic personnel working on the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

An internationally-experienced team of producers, choreographers and directors have been assembled to deliver both celebrations to be viewed by a global television audience of up to 1.5 billion. Many herald from Queensland and bring with them experience and success from working on other Games Ceremonies and global events, only fitting for one the largest scale events our city has seen.

“The calibre of the people behind the creation and production of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies is remarkable,” said GOLDOC Chairman, Peter Beattie AC.

I am confident the right people are in place and that they will deliver exceptional shows that will make all Queenslanders and Australians proud.

Taking up the key role of Music Director is Queenslander and one of Australia’s most revered musical talents, five-times ARIA award winner Katie Noonan (pictured). Katie’s experience and versatility as singer, musician, songwriter, producer and fierce champion for the arts has seen her collaborate on stage with the likes of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Queensland Ballet. She has served as the Artistic Director of the Queensland Music Festival since 2015.

Another local talent from Brisbane is Opening Ceremony Head of Choreography and Staging Director, Nathan M. Wright. Nathan is a highly respected choreographer and performer who has worked extensively on large-scale events, including choreography for the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of both the London 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Closing Ceremony Head of Choreography and Staging Director, Drew Anthony, grew up on the Gold Coast having built his creative foundations through local eisteddfods and theatre companies before going on to perform in many Australian and international productions including Cats, 42nd Street, and Hot Shoe Shuffle. Drew now specialises in large scale spectaculars having significant experience as Associate Artistic Director for events such as the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and Winter Olympics Vancouver 2010. He also co-produced the Gold Coast 2018 Flag Handover Ceremony at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Leading the Ceremonies team as Artistic Director and Project Director is Head of Jack Morton Worldwide Public Events David Zolkwer. David is a leading creative director of highly acclaimed public events around the world. He has previously led the teams for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and the Manchester 2002, Melbourne 2006 and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

In the role of Executive Producer for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies is Merryn Hughes. Merryn has over 25 years of experience working with international world class and public events in live production with previous Executive Producer roles including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2015 Pacific Games, in Papua New Guinea, and the Closing Ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, 2010.

Artistic Directors, choreographers and performers have been sourced from across Australia to take on various creative roles and include Wesley Enoch (Artistic Director, Sydney Festival), Stephen Page (Artistic Director, Bangarra Dance Company, Sydney) and Kyle Page (Artistic Director, Dancenorth, Townsville).

For the GC2018 Opening Ceremony, Indigenous dance company Bangarra will work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and Elders from across the Yugambeh Nation through their Rekindling program, culminating in a work which will see them perform together with Bangarra’s professional dance troupe.

For more information on the Opening and Closing ceremonies visit

IMAGE (c) Cybele Malinowski

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