For 30 Gold Coast locals the dream of performing in a grand opera has become a reality after being selected for Opera Queensland’s Project Rossini.
Successful participants will now take part in a program of free professional training in singing, dancing, stagecraft and Italian language skills, before taking to The Arts Centre Gold Coast stage to sing in the chorus of Gioacchino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 July, alongside Opera Queensland’s principal artists and with the support of an ensemble from Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
The OperaQ team travelled more than 8,000km throughout Queensland undertaking auditions, which saw hundreds of aspiring singers from eight centres across the state audition for a place in the chorus, with 128 women and 112 men getting through in total.
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Some of the amazing talent selected in the Gold Coast Chorus includes the recipient of the first ever Indigenous medical scholarship at Bond University, a founding member of Manchester Boys Choir and the descendent of a family of Australian music theatre pioneers, to name a few.
OperaQ Artistic Director Lindy Hume said 2014’s Project Puccini transformed the lives of hundreds of Queenslanders and she could not wait to see what Project Rossini had in store. “We do a lot of work around the state and time and time again we are blown away by the amount of talent Queensland has,” Ms Hume said.
“Our regional choruses are made up of some incredibly inspiring people from wonderfully diverse backgrounds, from a woman who lost a lung to cancer but still sings with great gusto to a 71-year-old retired architect who started his singing journey at age 55.
“The Barber of Seville celebrates its 200th birthday this year. It’s the ideal opera for first timers and seasoned opera goers, and I think our chorus members are going to love the experience of singing Rossini’s effervescent music and learning to dance the fandango.”
OperaQ’s new production of The Barber of Seville is a co-production with Seattle Opera and New Zealand Opera. It will be presented at QPAC’s Playhouse with The Opera Queensland Chorus in Brisbane from 9 to 23 July 2016, before hitting the road across Queensland for the rest of the month and throughout August. Performances in the USA and New Zealand follow in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Directed by Lindy Hume and under the baton of Roland Peelman, Rossini’s opera is a rollicking fiesta of sunny Spanish madness, telling the story of the dashing Count Almaviva who, ably abetted by Figaro, wins the heart of the sassy young maiden Rosina and rescues her from an arranged marriage to her crusty old guardian Bartolo.
OperaQ’s new production of The Barber of Seville will play atThe Arts Centre Gold Coast on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 July. For more information and to book tickets, visit: operaq.com.au/whats-on/project-rossini/