Opera by the Bay celebrates 50 years of opera at Ormiston House

Andrew Collis

Andrew Collis

Operatic royalty comes to Ormiston House for its inaugural Opera by the Bay, from 4pm on March 30 to celebrate the site's 50th anniversary of Opera Under the Stars.

Milijana Nikolic

Milijana Nikolic

Ormiston House staged the opera Marriage of Figaro, performed by the Queensland Light Opera Company in 1969, designed to be reminiscent of a mini version of a Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the same opera performed at Glyndebourne, Sussex. Following a three year break, Music Beneath the Stars began, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2003. This featured selected musical performances rather than whole operas.

House administrator Duchesne Barry said this year’s performance would feature Redland soprano Rosemarie Arthars and bass Andrew Collis, joined by Rosario La Spina, Milijana Nikolic, Sarah Crane and Shaun Brown.  Also performing are John Woods, the UQ singers and Black Square Quartet.

Rosario la Spina

Rosario la Spina

“We are just delighted to see opera return to the house. We have world class performers in a beautiful setting. We are blessed to have this here 50 years later,” Ms Barry said.

“There will of course be references to the original concert, “ she said.

Ms Barry said in keeping with the historic theme, the Governor of Queensland His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey had been invited, with the 1969 event attended by the then Governor Alan Mansfield.  In fact, the evening attracted an item in the newspaper describing it as attended by Queensland’s “who’s who”.

Opera by the Bay’s five operatic soloists bring a wealth of experience and beauty to their music which include songs from Turandot, Carmen, La Traviata, Il Travatore, Madame Butterfly and Les contes d'Hoffman presented as arias, duets and ensembles.

The University of Queensland Singers present a 50-voice chorus that promises to fill the bay with sound. The students will also have a chance to work with the soloists and learn from the experience. The Black Square Quartet including Thornlands violinist Camille Barry is collaborating with the vocalists to present an evening that promises to hold its audience in rapture.

Wine and food will be available for purchase. Tables and chairs are provided.

The event is a joint initiative with the Redland Eisteddfod.

Tickets are $50 and can be booked on 0457 675 137 or administrator@ormistonhouse.org.au