OperaQ’s new production of The Barber of Seville

@JCU OperaQ’s new production of The Barber of Seville

Sydney Dance Company’s Rafael Bonachela creates a fandango finale for OperaQ’s new production of The Barber of Seville

Opera Queensland has joined forces with Sydney Dance Company to teach hundreds of Queenslanders a new fandango for the wedding celebration finale of The Barber of Seville for Project Rossini.

Project Rossini, the second iteration of OperaQ’s ground breaking community initiative, will involve nearly 250 Queenslanders in eight regional choruses in a new touring production of Gioacchino Rossini’s opera.

To add a further challenge and a new skill for the participants, OperaQ Artistic Director Lindy Hume invited Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela to choreograph a dazzling Spanish dance, to be taught to chorus members through a step-by-step video.

OperaQ Artistic Director Lindy Hume said the collaboration was an obvious choice.

“Rafael was my dream choreographer for this project so I’m thrilled he happily accepted our invitation to contribute his own very special moment in my crazy and colourful new production,” Ms Hume said.

“The opera is set in Spain, of course, so who better than Rafael Bonachela – the owner of Australia’s most charming Spanish accent, and a highly celebrated international choreographer – to create a flamboyant fandango for the opera’s happy ending!

“It’s exciting to think each of the choruses across Queensland for our new production will be learning and performing moves created especially for them by the globally acclaimed Artistic Director of Sydney Dance Company.”

Ms Hume also expressed her delight in the cross art form collaboration between two of Australia’s Major Performing Arts Organisations.

“OperaQ and Sydney Dance Company are both very community-oriented companies – we both have tours across regional Queensland in 2016, so it’s perfect. We had great fun recording the choreography video and now I cannot wait to see the fandango spread across Queensland.”

Aspiring performers from eight communities - Gold Coast, Mackay, Fraser Coast (Maryborough), Rockhampton, Townsville, Toowoomba, and for the first time, Cairns and Gladstone – have been auditioning throughout March and April for a coveted spot in The Barber of Seville chorus.

Throughout June and July, successful applicants will participate in a free six-week development program to hone their singing, dancing, stagecraft and Italian language skills, before taking to the stage in July and August in their local theatres, alongside some of Queensland’s best singers and the support of an ensemble from Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Mr Bonachela said, “Sydney Dance Company is excited to collaborate with OperaQ on this award winning initiative. We are always seeking innovative ways to engage with the community and Project Rossini provided the perfect opportunity to connect with so many aspiring Queensland performers.”

“The timing of Project Rossini is also perfect, tying in with Sydney Dance Company's CounterMove tour to venues across regional Queensland in July. I hope to drop in and see some of the dance rehearsals in action during our travels.”

OperaQ’s new production of The Barber of Seville is a co-production with Seattle Opera and New Zealand Opera. It will show 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, 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.

Sydney Dance Company returns to regional Queensland in July, presenting its latest hit, CounterMove, in Rockhampton, Gladstone, Cairns and the Gold Coast.

This clever two-part program offers something for everyone, contrasting Alexander Ekman's acclaimed and hilarious Cacti; with a mesmerising new work from Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela, Lux Tenebris. Book now at sydneydancecompany.com/countermove.

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

Cast and crew

  • Conductor: Roland Peelman
  • Director: Lindy Hume
  • Assistant Director: Jason Barry-Smith
  • Designer: Tracy Grant Lord
  • Lighting Designer: Matthew Marshall
  • Head of Music: 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

  • Friday 29 and Saturday 30 July, The 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, TBC, Cairns
  • Wednesday 24 August, The Empire Theatre, Toowoomba.