Project Puccini (2004). Photo by Stephanie Do Rozario
Opera Queensland has announced Project Rossini auditions will take place on Tuesday 1 March to Wednesday 2 March in Townsville, paving the way for 30 local participants to perform in the chorus of the company’s new production of Gioacchino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.
Successful ‘Townsville Chorus’ members will take part in a free development program over six weeks, honing their singing, dancing, stagecraft and Italian language skills and forming new friendships and creative networks, before taking centre stage at Townsville Civic Theatre on Wednesday 17 August 2016.
OperaQ will be working with a local chorus master, rehearsal coordinator and Townsville City Council to ensure the highest standard of performance and personal development opportunities for local artists.
Seven other communities - Mackay, Fraser Coast (Maryborough), Rockhampton, Townsville, Toowoomba, and for the first time, Cairns and Gladstone - will also take part in Project Rossini.
Chorus members will star in their local theatres, alongside Queensland’s best singers with the support of an ensemble from Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
In 2014, OperaQ’s world-first initiative Project Puccini saw 800 people in eight Queensland regions compete for 384 spots to sing in La bohème. The project changed lives, filled theatres across the state and won a 2015 Arts & Health Australia Award for ‘Excellence in the Arts and Health in Regional Australia’.
OperaQ Artistic Director Lindy Hume said she was looking forward to taking the director’s chair and working with hundreds of new voices around the state.
“Project Puccini was a game changer for us and we cannot wait to get on the road again with Project Rossini. People across Queensland have the opportunity to live out their stage dreams by starring in one of the world’s much-loved comic operas alongside some of our most talented singers and musicians,” Ms Hume said.
“This year we have added an extra challenge. Not only will chorus members be singing in Italian, we are also going to teach them how to do the fandango.
“We are calling out to anyone in Townsville to audition. Even if you have never performed in front of an audience before; if you love singing along to the radio or in the shower, then we want to hear from you.”
OperaQ’s new production of The Barber of Seville is a co-production with Seattle Opera and New Zealand Opera. It will show in Brisbane from 9 to 23 July 2016, before hitting the road across Queensland throughout August.
Directed by Lindy Hume and under the baton of Roland Peelman, the rollicking fiesta of sunny Spanish madness will tell the story of the dashing Count Almaviva who, ably abetted by the all-knowing Figaro, loses his heart to the sassy young maiden Rosina, as comedy and effervescent music abound.
After the curtain falls on the last night in Toowoomba, the colourful set and incredible Galliano inspired costumes, designed by Tracy Grant Lord, will be packed up, ready to be shipped to the US and New Zealand for international performances in 2017 and 2018.
Whether it is your first time at the opera or your 100th, The Barber of Seville, with its endearing characters and infectious charm, is sure to delight audiences of all ages.
To register visit: operaq.com.au/whats-on/projectrossini
Project Rossini is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland’s Playing Queensland Fund and Townsville City Council.