Following the success of Carols in the Common in December 2019 – where Opera Queensland performers entertained a festive audience in West Village’s public parkland – both companies looked to embark on a year-long program of exquisite and rich cultural experiences including concerts and workshops for West Village residents and the wider community.
With social distancing measures and restrictions on public gathering introduced, Opera Queensland and West Village worked quickly to create new ways to deliver the live performance aspect of the partnership.
Featuring three iconic operatic favourites, A Weekend with Opera Queensland is a series of performances filmed within social distancing guidelines in and around the surrounds of West Village for audiences to enjoy in the comfort of their homes this Easter.
Released over consecutive days, A Weekend with Opera Queensland begins on Saturday 11 April with the rousing Brindisi (Drinking Song) from La Traviata. On Sunday 12 April, audiences will be treated to the melting Flower Duet from Lakmé. The final performance happens on Easter Monday (13 April) – a stirring rendition of the Pearl Fishers Duet, Au fond du temple saint, made available for streaming.
Opera Queensland Artistic Director and CEO Patrick Nolan said the initiative is part of a new, year-long partnership with West Village showcasing the arts and connecting the community during this time of change and uncertainty.
“As we face the challenges of isolation Opera Queensland and West Village are aware of the key role the performing arts play in supporting mental health and wellbeing,” said Mr Nolan. “We have always understood the role music and singing plays in bringing people together.”
“These experiences strengthen the bonds between us and help us deal with the challenges and complexities of life as well as making us aware of how important it is to appreciate what is beautiful in our lives. Opera Queensland is committed to supporting our artists and staff as we explore new and innovative ways to share our passion for opera.”
West Village Project Executive Director, Sales, Marketing and Public Relations, Megan Barron said content would be made available via social media and email at 4.00pm each afternoon. “To ensure the rich value of live performance was not lost, we devised an immediate plan to film a series of performances and bring opera direct into people’s homes,” she said.
“It is our sincere wish that A Weekend at the Opera fills you with joy and hope, that we as a community will return and embrace the joy of arts and live music once the virus pandemic has receded,” said Ms Barron.
Young music fans will also reap the benefits of the new partnership, with Opera Queensland creating special artistic experiences for children that will be available later in the year. For more information, visit: www.westvillage.com.au For more information about Opera Queensland, visit: www.oq.com.au for details.
Image: Rebecca Cassidy and Jessica Low perform as part of A Weekend with Opera Queensland – photo courtesy of West Village