OPERA Queensland today announced Gold Coast would be one of eight regional communities involved in a world-first project that will give nearly 400 everyday people the opportunity to perform in the chorus of a brand new production of La bohème.
‘Project Puccini’ is a hugely ambitious $2 million initiative, which will train 48 Queenslanders in each participating region to sing and act alongside OperaQ’s principal artists and Queensland Symphony Orchestra musicians in a professionally staged opera (picture courtesy of petitebrigitte.com).
Auditions for Gold Coast adults and children to become a part of the ‘Gold Coast Chorus’ will be held from 7 to 9 April. Successful chorus members will then take part in a 10-week development program before performing in La bohème at The Arts Centre Gold Coast on 9 August.
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OperaQ will employ a local chorus master and rehearsal coordinator, and work with The Arts Centre Gold Coast and local sponsors to ensure the highest standard of performance and personal development opportunities for budding local artists.
Project Puccini aims to equip participants with improved music and drama skills, new social and creative networks, and an increased sense of community and wellbeing.
Arts Minister Ian Walker said the Queensland Government supported Project Puccini and the La bohème regional tour with funding of $399,954 through Arts Queensland’s Playing Queensland Fund.
“Project Puccini offers a unique opportunity for everyday Queenslanders to perform in a professional production,” he said.
“This is an excellent example of our Arts for all Queenslanders commitment in action, deliver more great arts and culture for more Queenslanders.”
Project Puccini is also proudly supported by the Graeme Wood Foundation.
OperaQ Artistic Director Lindy Hume said Project Puccini was the first major undertaking in the company’s Open Stage program, which aimed to build creative skills and maintain strong, meaningful relationships with communities across Queensland.
“I am particularly passionate about encouraging excellence in regional arts and we want to seek out and nurture outstanding talent across Queensland,” Ms Hume said.
“We hope our professionally trained Gold Coast Chorus will go on to perform in other cultural events, and inter-regional relationships will develop to build artistic collaboration and improve the return on government and private investment in the arts.
“This brand new production of La bohème demonstrates the company’s commitment to excellence in regional Queensland,” Ms Hume said.
Known as the most romantic opera of all time, La bohème appeals to devotees and newcomers alike. Beginning on a snowy Christmas Eve in Paris, it tells the tale of Mimi’s love affair with the poet Rodolfo and their group of rent-dodging flatmates living and loving precariously on the edge of society.
Puccini’s beloved opera will be brought to life by award-winning theatre director Craig Ilott and internationally acclaimed designer Penny Challen.
All Project Puccini participants and supporters can connect online through the following website to share their experiences, stories, video and images.