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Arts Centre Melbourne's Australian Performing Arts Collection Acquires Olivia Newton-John Collection

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The collection features two gowns, design sketches, scripts, tour music, and a prestigious award.

Arts Centre Melbourne's Australian Performing Arts Collection Acquires Olivia Newton-John Collection

Arts Centre Melbourne's Australian Performing Arts Collection has acquired a number of prized possessions from the collection of Dame Olivia Newton-John.

The collection features two gowns, design sketches, scripts, tour music, and a prestigious award.

The items - including an embellished white chiffon gown worn by Newton-John for her television special Olivia (ABC, 1978) with Andy Gibb and ABBA - were among 500 television, film and live performance costumes, ensembles, gowns, memorabilia, awards and accessories auctioned at the end of 2019 by the four-time Grammy award-winning singer and film star to raise funds for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre.

"I am thrilled that some of my stage clothes and sketches that my friend costume designer Fleur Thiemeyer created, which I wore during the height of my career in the 70s and 80s, are now on display after all these years!" said Newton- John.

"I am so proud of her and delighted that they will become a permanent part of the Australian Performing Arts Collection at Arts Centre Melbourne. It's wonderful to know that they will be carefully preserved for future generations to see."

The custom made gown designed by one of Australia's most iconic music fashion designers, Fleur Thiemeyer features rows of silver bugle beads, sprigs of pearlised sequin flowers and a plunging back. The Australian Performing Arts Collection also acquired the original costume design.

The second gown - Olivia Newton-John's Royal Charity Concert gown- features ruby red sequins, bugle beads and iridescent glass in a foliate motif. It was worn by Olivia Newton-John when meeting Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh on 27 May 1980 at the Sydney Opera House.

Other items acquired by the Australian Performing Arts Collection include a signed Physical tour music portfolio containing handwritten sheet music for Physical; the Royal Charity Concert script; Olivia television script; and an Australian Gold Record Award for the single, Banks of the Ohio.

The acquisition was made possible through generous philanthropic donations to the Australian Performing Arts Collection from the Maxwell and Merle Carroll Bequest, David Richards Gift, a Gift in memory of Barry John Murnane, Frank Van Straten AM and Adrian Turley, John Frost AM and the Minogue family.


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