Opera by The Lake

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This year Opera by the Lake will once again amaze audiences with the stunning operatic and musical talent on display. Don’t miss Voci Stupende and String Musicians Australia in Tuncurry’s beautiful John Wright Park on March 4. Rotary Great Lakes’ Club President Brian Bruton tells us more about the event …

Hi Brian. We heard that last year’s Opera by the Lake event was a huge success. What was some of the feedback you received?

We had a capacity audience, which was fantastic for a first time event. We received a lot of positive reviews, such as: “Fabulous event. All performers were superb”.” A well organised and run event”. “Delicious food”. “Great location”. “Volunteers did a great job – the local SES, RFS, St John Ambulance, TAFE students, Great Lakes Pearl Dragons and Rotary members and their families. It was a real community affair.” “Disabled parking. Seating was excellent and public conveniences were suitable located.”

We had a raft of attentive volunteer ushers offering the audience free cups of cold water and making sure everything ran smoothly and will repeat that method this year.

Where will the event be held this year?

The event will be held at John Wright Park, Manning St, Tuncurry, overlooking Cape Hawke Harbour. Patrons can enjoy the fine food, wine and music all brought together in this beautiful setting with a predominant nor-easterly breeze and the backdrop of the blue waters and iconic twin towns bridge connecting Tuncurry/Forster.

Run us through the event program …

Gates will open at 1:30pm. Enjoy the rich sounds of a trio of Australia’s finest string musicians playing Mozart and Bach from 2:40pm, while relaxing with a glass of wine or a cold drink and enjoying a freshly made cheese platter, sandwiches or local oysters.

Food and beverages will be reasonably priced and offered for sale until 3:50pm and again during interval through the main performance.

At 4pm a unique musical experience will begin, with a superb performance by Voci Stupende. These young opera singers will deliver arias, solos, duets, trios and ensemble pieces from some of the world’s best known operas and a couple from musicals.

This recital will feature such treats as a poignant Ave Maria, an enthralling lover’s duet from Puccini’s La Boheme, the very famous and much requested Pearl Fishers duet for tenor and baritone, rousing ensemble pieces from Strauss and Bizet’s Carmen, musical theatre from Phantom of the Opera and The Prayer, made famous by Celine Dion and Andrea Boccelli.

You’ll be enthralled by the fresh vibrant voices of these young singers, all classically trained at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

The event will be finished by 6pm, leaving plenty of time for dining and socialising at one of our local restaurants or clubs.   

Tell us more about Voci Stupende and String Musicians Australia …

Voci Stupende staged their first three performances in Armidale in June 2013 (at which time all the original members were at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music). The performances were brilliantly received, with standing ovations after each recital. Such success inspired Hugh and Jane Fraser to incorporate Voci Stupende as a not for profit organisation. Their aim is to publicly offer audiences the privilege of hearing stellar young voices. The project also gives emerging singers the chance to experience wider performance opportunities in different venues.                                                                                                                              

Voci Stupende performers are trained not only in voice, acting and movement, but also in a dizzying array of languages … German, Italian, French, Spanish, English, Russian and Czech …

Voci Stupende has now taken on over 40 young singers and accompanists who have delighted audiences in more than 30 recitals (26 who have already performed and another 15 recently selected). These singers capture and portray every aspect of human existence from joyful to tragic, taking their audiences on a wonderful roller coaster ride of musical experience …

String Musicians Australia performs as a string quartet or any small ensemble. They are some of the finest Australian classical musicians. They perform with Australia’s leading symphony orchestras, including those in Adelaide, Canberra, Victoria, Sydney, Tasmania, West Australia, Queensland and Darwin.

They also perform and tour with Australia’s leading chamber orchestras, including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. They have won all of Australia’s major classical music competitions, as well as many international competitions.

What will spectators need to bring to the event?

This event has assigned seating for every patron, so there is no need to panic about “finding a spot” .The average March temperature is 25.5 centigrade. The featured main event doesn’t commence until 4pm, by which time the north easterly breeze has usually come up and the temperature is diminishing. Nonetheless, this is an outdoor concert, and we do recommend the audience come prepared with a shady hat, water, sunscreen and a rain jacket if required. No umbrellas please, as they obstruct the view of our magnificent performance.

Rotary Great Lakes and the Great Lakes Creative Network have joined forces to bring us this year’s Opera by the Lake. Whom would you like to thank for their support this year?

Once again, we have had a hard working committee which commenced work after we successfully staged last year’s event on 19th March. Nyaree Donnelly again has done a tremendous job in creating and producing all the creative designs. Nyaree works closely with her husband, Rusty, who designed and built our website.

Also, Leigh Vaughan from Arts Mid North Coast and Rotary members Tony Summers, Tricia Hartmann, Greg McInnes, Deborah Verdich, Kim Morris and Mark De Platter.

Tell us a little about some of the projects Rotary Great Lakes has been involved with over the past twelve months …

Over the last 12 months our club has donated over $17,000 to local not for profit organisations, including Riding for the Disabled, Great Lakes Hospice, Great Lakes Women’s Shelter and others. Major beneficiaries from this year’s Opera by the Lake will be Great Lakes Women’s Shelter and Ronald McDonald Forster Retreat and other local Rotary Projects.

All funds raised by Rotary help not-for-profit organisations, which need the community’s help. Funds, in many cases, would not otherwise be available.

Some other projects and programmes Rotary is involved with includes Probus Clubs, Road Safe Youth Drivers Awareness, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and Rotary Youth Agriculture.

Where can people find out more info or purchase tickets?

Go to www.operanythelake.com and our Facebook page. Tickets are for sale online, by visiting Great Lakes Tourism in Little St, Forster or telephoning 1800 802 692.

Thanks Brian.

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