Opera and music festivals: are they similar?


Lindy Hume,

Lindy Hume (Artistic Director Opera Queensland), Linda O’Brien (Pro Vice Chancellor Information Services)

Music festivals are held in paddocks, parks, streets and even on beaches.  And nowadays so are opera’s!

Opera Queensland (OperaQ) is redefining opera, offering a diverse program for ‘opera enthusiasts, music fans, arts adventurers and people who just love big social occasions’.

With performances in unconventional settings, like a Brisbane nightclub and a Darling Downs paddock, OperaQ provides opportunities ‘for the audience to get up close and personal with artists, musicians and fellow adventurers. The company has even moved away from the traditional subscription model to embrace a more festival-like multi-ticket approach’ (OperaQ, 2015, ‘And the crowd goes wild‘)

OperaQ, Artistic Director, Linda Hume provided insight into contemporary opera during her engaging presentation at a Friends of the Library event last month. Griffith University Friends of the Library hosted ‘Welcome to the Gold Coast – the Democratic New Opera Capital of Australia’ on Thursday 6 August 2015.

Lindy encouraged the audience to re-imagine the 400-year-old art form, and discover what it now means to a contemporary community.

She discussed the idea of unconventional performances, specifically designed to directly connect with the local community, such as the G20 Community Chorus – The Changing Face of Brisbane.

Opera Queensland participated in the G20 cultural celebrations by creating a large-scale community choir event in the Brisbane CBD. The Changing Face of Brisbane was a spectacular sound and light show which incorporated choral singing, movement, large-scale projections and video to create a ‘living canvas’ on the façade of the Treasury Hotel, Brisbane.

She provided entertaining clips of the recent Opera at Jimbour, and the engaging Project Puccini.

Lindy Hume, Artistic Director Opera Queensland

Lindy Hume, Artistic Director Opera Queensland

Opera at Jimbour is one of Queensland’s truly iconic music events – where you can picnic with a magnificent sandstone mansion in the background and spend the afternoon listening to opera!

Project Puccini is a world-first initiative by OperaQ, giving 384 Queenslanders across 8 regional locations the opportunity to perform alongside internationally renowned artists in a brand new touring production of Puccini’s La Bohème

Lindy discussed the Gold Coast as the new opera capital of Australia. The Gold Coast is coming to life with opera in the theatre, on a beach, street or park, citing the huge success of Opera on the Beach with Bleach Festival 2015.

Guests enjoyed a performance by Tenor Iain Henderson accompanied by Norma Marschke, and then reflected on the new idea of Opera while enjoying drinks and canapés.

To become a Friend of the Library or for more information on our events, visit griffith.edu.au/library/friends.

Iain Henderson

Pianist Norma Marschke, Tenor Iain Henderson

Linda O'Brien, Pro Vice Chancellor Information Services

Linda O’Brien, Pro Vice Chancellor Information Services



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