Hundreds of Queenslanders to sing and dance in international production

@JCU Hundreds of Queenslanders to sing and dance in international production

Hundreds of Queenslanders to sing and dance in international production 


More than 250 Queenslanders will learn to sing opera and dance the fandango for a new touring production of Gioacchino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville when Opera Queensland’s groundbreaking community initiative returns in 2016 as ‘Project Rossini’.

Aspiring performers from eight communities - Gold Coast, Mackay, Fraser Coast (Maryborough), Rockhampton, Townsville, Toowoomba, and for the first time, Cairns and Gladstone - will have the opportunity to audition for a coveted spot.

Successful applicants will participate in a program of free professional training in singing, dancing, stagecraft and Italian language skills before taking to the stage in their local theatres alongside Queensland’s best singers and the support of an ensemble from Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

After the curtain falls on the last night in Toowoomba, the sunny Spanish set and incredible Galliano inspired costumes will be packed up, ready to be shipped to the US and New Zealand for international performances in 2017 and 2018.

It will be the third international work OperaQ has collaborated on in as many years, and the second by Artistic Director Lindy Hume, whose colourful adaptation of Rossini’s Cinderella will also be staged by Opera Leipzig in Germany and San Diego Opera in the US.

Audiences can expect to see Ms Hume’s signature fast-paced comedy and larger-than-life characters in The Barber of Seville in front of Tracy Grant Lord’s colourful set and costume designs.

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 and filled theatres across the state.

Lindy Hume said Project Puccini made a lasting impact on the communities and the company.

“Project Puccini was an absolute game changer for us – it was our most ambitious undertaking to date and everyone involved had the time of their lives. We unearthed new talent, created new artistic networks and doubled our box office from our last regional tour,” Ms Hume said.

“Our artists felt reinvigorated as they really connected with the communities along the tour, and we are still hearing about Project Puccini’s legacy from participants. The Toowoomba Community Chorus went on to sing at the iconic Opera at Jimbour and one of our chorus members from Townsville performed in Cloud Song, our opera in a nightclub this year, in front of a sold-out crowd.”

Expressions of interest are now open at the OperaQ website:

Project Rossini is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland’s Playing Queensland Fund and by the performing arts centre in each community.

About the production

An Australian premiere of a new OperaQ co-production with Seattle Opera and New Zealand Opera

Sung in Italian with projected English translations

Cast and crew 

Conductor: Roland Peelman

Director: Lindy Hume

Assistant Director: Jason Barry-Smith

Designer: Tracy Grant Lord

Lighting Designer: Matthew Marshall

Chorus Master: Narelle French

Musicians from Queensland Symphony Orchestra

Figaro: Brett Carter/Shaun Brown

Count Almaviva: Virgilio Marino/Jaewoo Kim

Rosina: Monique Latemore/Katie Stenzel

Dr Bartolo: Andrew Collis

Basilio David Hibbard

Berta: Emily Burke

Fiorello: Shaun Brown/Matthew Broadbent

Touring Dates

  • Saturday 9 to Saturday 23 July, Playhouse, QPAC, Brisbane (The Opera Queensland Chorus)
  • Friday 29 and Saturday 30 July, Arts Centre Gold Coast
  • Wednesday 3 August, Brolga Theatre, Maryborough (Fraser Coast)
  • Saturday 6 August, Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton
  • Wednesday 10 August, Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre
  • Saturday 13 August, Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre
  • Wednesday 17 August, Civic Theatre, Townsville
  • Friday 19 August, Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns
  • Wednesday 24 August, The Empire Theatre, Toowoomba