It was such a delight to receive Opera Queensland’s (OQ) 2024 Season Launch invitation. Linda Apelt, Chair and Patrick Nolan, CEO & Artistic Director have promised another wonderful line-up for next year with ambitious programming and fresh approaches to what opera can be.
At the exclusive Calile Hotel guests were treated to a night of operatic samples with some of our finest voices. We heard extracts of diverse songs and stories to tempt our artistic buds. At the end of the evening, complimentary programs were handed out as we mingled and discussed the festival of options over refreshing drinks and canapes.
Another exciting year ahead with “not just opera…. Opera Queensland”.
Their three major productions in Brisbane will show the breadth of vision of Patrick Nolan, who has put together a program that pitches classics alongside brave new works in a highly original way.
“If we are not taking risks as an arts company, why are we here? The stage is a place to celebrate and interrogate questions and ideas we are thinking about as a community. More than ever, we need to challenge ourselves to imagine new ways of living, new ways of connecting with each other and our environment. Opera provides us with a space to do this in ever more exciting and original ways,” says Patrick Nolan, talking about his approach to Opera Queensland’s 2024 Season
Opening the year is a new festival, Brisbane Bel Canto, a week-long celebration of exquisite music from the bel canto period. The festival begins with superstar Jessica Pratt showcasing her internationally renowned performance of Lucia di Lammermoor, joined by her long-time collaborator and master of bel canto repertoire Richard Mills, conducting the Queensland Symphony
Orchestra and the Opera Queensland Chorus, with direction by Patrick Nolan.
This production will open and close the festival on 20 and 27 April at the Concert Hall QPAC.
The festival provides a myriad of opportunities for people to experience opera at its
most sublime. In collaboration with Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, the festival will present Gioachino Rossini’s poignant masterpiece Stabat Mater featuring Eva Kong, Deborah Humble, Rosario La Spina and David Parkin. Mills conducts the Queensland Conservatorium Orchestra and a chorus of vocal students.
Launching in March with virtuosic pianist Alex Raineri and his new show, Speechless, that transforms beloved operatic highlights into virtuosic solo piano works.
May Regional Program
This exceptional program covers the state to all points of the compass, with the crowning glory during May, being the Festival of Outback Opera, returning to Winton and Longreach. Marcus Corowa stars in the touring production Do We Need Another Hero? created by the same team behind the phenomenally successful Are You Lonesome Tonight and Lady Sings the Maroons
In July Opera Queensland reconnects with Circa in the production of Dido and Aeneas. The tale about a pair of lovers, an evil sorceress and a doomed affair is given new life under the direction of Circa Artistic Director, Yaron Lifschitz. With a running time of just over an hour and lyrics sung in English, Henry Purcell’s profoundly beautiful music will be perfectly complemented by an ensemble of Circa acrobats and the Opera Queensland chorus. This is a production that will welcome broad audiences.
August: Straight from the Strait will open Brisbane Festival 2024 at QPAC. The final 2024 Season mainstage production will be the brand new world-premiere of Straight from the Strait. This musical from the Torres Strait Islands pays homage to a group of remarkable Torres Strait Island workers on the vast expanse of the Mount Newman railway construction project who, on 8 May 1968, shattered world records as they laid down an astonishing 4.35 miles (almost 7 kilometres) of track in a single day, an unparalleled feat that still stands unchallenged. At the heart of their extraordinary achievement is the power of song – songs that are unique to Australia, that tell a passionate and inspiring story about the extraordinary men and women who ventured far from their island homes in pursuit of employment on the mainland.
Developed through collaboration and consultation with the Yumpla Nerkepis led by a team of First Nations creatives, performers, musicians, and cultural advisors. Presented by Opera Queensland, Yumpla Nerkep Foundation, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, in association with Brisbane Festival,
“This story is of personal importance to my family and many others from the Torres Strait, but it reveals a significant moment in history that all Australians can be proud of. Out of a strong sense of duty to their families, these men left their cultural ways – but together they found a new rite of passage through hard labour and teamwork. What an honour and privilege to have met with these Torres Strait Island railway legends and listen to their stories and songs. Their ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude have made them our ‘unsung heroes’.” Aunty Ruth Ghee.
Studio Series jumps back into action. Starting with musical superstar and Helpmann Award winner Amy Lehpamer, who will deliver treats from Broadway, with a collection of songs from some of musical theatre’s greatest hits. offering audiences the opportunity to experience big voices in the intimate space of the Opera Queensland Studio. This year’s series of six performances offers a mix of genres, some with cabaret-style seating complete with refreshments, with others set in a more formal atmosphere.
Opera Queensland Young Artist program Rising opera star Eleanor Greenwood and renowned Queensland baritone Shaun Brown come together to celebrate the Opera Queensland Young Artist program. Graduating from the program some twenty years apart, they will tell stories of what it’s like to set out on a career as a singer and what it’s like to have an extraordinary career behind you.
Principal tenor, Queensland great, Virgilio Marino returns to Opera Queensland for a special recital of some of his favourite songs.
Primary School students will see a return of Hansel & Gretel with a tour across south east Queensland. Over 5000 students will have the opportunity to experience opera for the first time in this beautiful reimagining of Humperdinck’s classic.
Workshops: Sing with Opera Queensland are returning inviting singers of all ages to collaborate with leading principal performers and musicians, to broaden their personal and professional development skills including enhancing language, aural development, music-reading, opera history, and vocal technique.
Less formal for those singers and opera enthusiasts a season of the community sing-along series Sing Sing Sing will return to the bar at Rydges Bacchus Restaurant. Everyone is welcome.
Additional options, include Brisbane Bel Canto Long Lunch with Maggie Beer, Stabat Mater, Solo, Group and Youth Vocal workshops
Subscription tickets go on sale from 1 November. Single tickets available as of 20 November 2023.
Visit oq.com.au Call QTIX 136 246 & outside of Australia +617 3842 9505
On the birth of her two grandsons, Ruth Greening experienced an awakening in her life and entering Gen GP (Generation Grandparent) she was given the moniker Nanny Babe as her ‘grandmother’ title. She found things had changed since her child rearing days, and an adjustment to new parenting concepts was required. Hence the birth of the Nanny Babe blog from a baby boomers perspective.
Ruth holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Philosophy, completing this degree while working as a hairdresser and supporting her two children as a single mother. Ruth has worked in the corporate world for approximately thirty years and has recently retired to address her artistic passions.
She is experienced in senior management positions, marketing, modelling, commercials, film, community radio and writing.
Nanny Babe is active with her hobbies—fitness, writing, blogging, jewellery, crafts, singing, dancing, memoirs, mentoring and now faces diversity and self-discovery on her recent ‘retirement’ path. Connect with Nanny Babe on her blog – hit the link above!