Jarrod Carland and Shannon Pigram pull their other trading company offline following Limelight exposé as estimated debt grows.
Brisbane Baroque directors Jarrod Carland and Shannon Pigram have chosen to pull their remaining trading company offline in an attempt to avoid creditors, causing further dismay for unpaid artists. An email sent by Carland on September 14 to clients of Studio Jack, a boutique media campaigns company of which he and Pigram are also directors, indicated that at least one other of their commercial enterprises was still up and running. A phone call to Studio Jack revealed that Carland and Pigram were “in and out” on a regular basis. This week, however the company’s website declares that it is “under maintenance” and its Facebook page has been taken down. Phone calls now go through to an answering machine with no outgoing message.
Limelight understands that, following its report of September 23, a number of artists attempted to contact the Brisbane Baroque directors via Studio Jack, but now it appears that Carland and Pigram prefer to remain unavailable. Meanwhile the list of unpaid artists stretches to around 40 international and Australian soloists including Mahan Esfahani, Vivica Genaux, Greta Bradman, Brett Weymark, Erin Helyard and the casts of Agrippina and King Arthur. In addition, it is understood no money has been received by any ensembles including Latitude 37, Orava Quartet, Camerata of St. John’s, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and 32 members of Orchestra of the Antipodes. Various suppliers contracted for the opera productions also remain unpaid, and it is now thought that the outstanding debt is in the region of $750,000.
“That leaves us with very few options; but to be fair we had very few options before they pulled these sites as they weren’t answering anything anyway,” says Alison Johnston, Manager of Orchestra of the Antipodes and a major creditor, who has been attempting to chase money on behalf of many of the performers since April.
Meanwhile, the Queensland government are still refusing to answer questions from the opposition about the beleaguered festival, which was partially funded by taxpayer money. According to a report in the Brisbane Times, Tourism Minister Kate Jones has “repeatedly declined to answer questions about the future of the festival and the festival’s financial management,” while Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Leanne Coddington told budgets estimates back in July that the deal was commercial-in-confidence and would only say that “the organisation’s contract with Brisbane Baroque Pty Ltd was being reviewed”.