began its operation in the early 1980's in Australia financing and producing
recording artists and product on a small scale. The company produced and
released recordings under licence to the Australian record company Festival
Records. In the space of 3 years, Essgee had clocked up
their first four Gold albums.
publishing was the next step and the company now controls approximately 200
titles which are published on recordings and/or sheet music.
Concert promotion developed from the
entrepreneuring of concerts firstly for Essgee's CEO - Australian
Gallaher. Such national tours were promoted
throughout the country and toured to as many as 150 centres per year since
1981. Centres have included all major Australian concert halls and theatres through to
small country centres as well as major open air events.
In 1990 Essgee Melodies signed a new
international release agreement with Sony Music (Columbia Records) and released 2 new recordings. The first of these features The Adelaide
(South Australian) Symphony Orchestra which led to major concert events being
promoted by Essgee with all 6 major symphony orchestras in Australia.
The concert events further established the
credibility of Essgee Entertainment not only with the country's foremost
orchestras, but with all major concert venues including The Sydney Opera House
and The Victorian Arts Centre (which co-produced 2 concerts with Essgee).
In 1994 Essgee Entertainment launched its
most ambitious project in the creation and production of a new version of the
Pirates of Penzance.
Essgee self-funded the production as they were unable to raise investment
in what some believed would be certain disaster. The show was an immediate
runaway hit which played to capacity audiences and unanimous critical acclaim.
ABC-TV broadcast the production nationally at the conclusion of the Australian
tour and the video/DVD has attained Triple Platinum sales being the highest selling
live musical theatre video/DVD of all time. The telecast has since been sold to television and pay-tv networks across the world.
1995 Essgee produced
which achieved equal success on stage and on
video as The
Pirates. A decision was made to introduce the
show to a foreign territory to gauge whether its success could be repeated
outside of Australia. In 1996 Essgee formed Essgee NZ Ltd and presented
throughout New Zealand, it's success in that country eclipsing all other
musical presentations. Essgee NZ immediately followed
with a new production of The Pirates
which was another critical and financial success. Essgee NZ had quickly become a leading
musical production company in New
January 1997 saw the premiere of
the final in the Pirates Trilogy. This opened at the prestigious Melbourne
State Theatre at the Victorian Arts Centre. Pinafore played an 11-city
two-country tour of Australia and New Zealand until October 1997.