Essgee Entertainment 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.

Music 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 entertainer Simon 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 classic 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.

In 1995 Essgee produced The Mikado 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 The Mikado throughout New Zealand, it's success in that country eclipsing all other musical presentations. Essgee NZ immediately followed The Mikado 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 Zealand.

January 1997 saw the premiere of HMS Pinafore, 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.

1998 saw a new production of Franz Lehar's classic The Merry Widow come to the stage just for Brisbane Australia. It starred international baritone Jeffrey Black and Helen Donaldson as theWidow. The show was a great success with a massive cast, crew and orchestra of nearly 150. 1999 saw a new production and new cast to The Merry Widow for Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide starring Australia's queen of music theatre Marina Prior. Also in 1999, Essgee revived Stephen Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum which premiered in Melbourne in the summer at Melbourne's State Theatre and toured extensively throughout Australia and New Zealand to every major city. At the same time was Essgee's Melbourne premiere of the Tony Award winning play Master Class starring Amanda Muggleton and directed by Rodney Fisher. Both Forum and Master Class played at the Victorian Arts Centre marking a first for a producer to be presenting two major productions simultaneously in the centre. This production won Miss Muggleton the Green Room Award for Best Actress and later a Helpmann Award.
Essgee now licenses productions of their Gilbert & Sullivan trilogy of shows to companies and theatre societies across the world.
Essgee produced a special anniversary season of The Pirates of Penzance initially for Brisbane Australia in November 2001 and due to its incredible reception went on through 2002 to tour Sydney, Canberra, Newcastle, Adelaide and Perth and in 2003 with a triumphant return season to Melbourne where thePirates all began 20 years before. The show also toured to regional areas for the first time including an extensive tour of Far North Queensland (Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville & Cairns) as well as playing seasons for the first time in Darwin and Hobart. This marked the final time that Jon English & Simon Gallaher would perform the show.
In 2004 Essgee presented a six million dollar original Australian musical EUREKA- written by Michael Harvey and Maggie-May Gordon which opened in Melbourne in October 2004 to rave reviews. EUREKA was part of the 2004 Melbourne International Arts Festival program. The musical extended 3 times after the official close of the festival and finally concluded its Melbourne season in late November 2004. EUREKA and Amanda Muggleton won Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in the 2005 Helpmann Awards and EUREKA was also nominated as Best Musical. EUREKA was also nominated for six Green Room Awards in 2005 and won for Best Technical Design (lighting) done by Trudy Dalgleish.
In recent times, Essgee produced concerts across Australia starring Julie Anthony & Simon Gallaher. Essgee also launched a new project entitled Showstoppers which was a series of music-theatre workshops for young performers mentored by the cream of Australian showbusiness identities and tutors. In 2007 Essgee released a new CD with Simon Gallaher & Julie Anthony entitled Together At Last. After a hiatus from musical production, Essgee produced a new production of their highly acclaimed musical version of The Mikado which opened in Brisbane in 2008. 2009 saw a triumphant season of Essgee's The Mikado play in Adelaide's Festival Theatre. Essgee managed the final duo concert tour of Julie Anthony & Simon Gallaher entitled Moments To Remember which toured across Australia through 2011 and 2012. During 2014 Essgee managed concert tour dates for Simon Gallaher across Australia with extensive tours across Victoria and Queensland. A new professional production of Essgee's The Pirates of Penzance was granted the first license to be professionally produced in Australia by an outside company The Harvest Rain Theatre Company. Simon Gallaher directed the show for the first time and the production starred TV personalities Andrew O'Keefe & John Wood along with veteran stage actress Nancye Hayes receiving rave reviews and playing to capacity audiences. Essgee Currently has no plans in producing new product for the stage but is licensing their productions to other producers.
April 2022
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