Opera Queensland have saddled up with Beef Australia to premiere its genre-crossing new production, AreYouLonesomeTonight.
Are You Lonesome Tonight will blend opera with country while telling a story about life on the road through arias by composers such as Puccini and Verdi and songs by Slim Dusty and Dolly Parton, exploring the surprising similarities between Opera and Country music.
With performances across a seven-week season covering almost 30 regional and remote Queensland communities spanning more than 7000km through May and June, Are You Lonesome Tonight will be Opera Queensland’s largest regional tour to date.
Opera Queensland’s Artistic Director & CEO, Patrick Nolan, said the launch of this state-wide tour in partnership with Beef Australia is a great way to celebrate Opera Queensland’s deep commitment to regional audiences and the many artists from across the state that have been part of our music-making over the past 40 years.
Opera Queensland Director of Learning, Regional and Community Mark Taylor said the company planned to celebrate its 40th birthday by engaging with audiences across Queensland and providing arts, culture and education opportunities to more people in more locations. “Opera Queensland’s partnership with Beef Australia sprang from our shared belief in the importance of delivering culture, entertainment and joy across regional Queensland, particularly following such a profound period of drought,” “Pairing Opera and Country music is not a gimmick; the two genres have a great deal in common. “Artists, composers and librettists across both artforms understand the power of storytelling sharing many common themes of profound love, heartache, and triumph in the face of adversity, “It’s said country music is about lovin’, fightin’, drinkin’ and cussin’ and aside from the cussin’, that nicely sums up opera too.”
Are You Lonesome Tonight will perform in some of Queensland’s most iconic locations including the Roma Saleyards, the Australian Stockmans Hall of Fame in Longreach, Winton’s Waltzing Matilda Centre and from the try-line of Townsville’s new 25,000-capacity Queensland Country Bank Stadium. “This show is designed to be experienced outdoors, whether that’s under stars in the state’s Central West, by the ocean on The Whitsundays coastline or in the wetlands of tropical North Queensland,” Mr Taylor said. “Come in your jeans and boots or your tuxedos and ballgowns – this is opera at its most diverse, accessible and exciting.”
Are You Lonesome Tonight’s regional tour also includes a community engagement program with customised events and activities planned for each location. Community engagement initiatives include school workshops, community choir events, recitals in aged care facilities and pop-up performances and activations in unexpected locations. For performance dates, times and venue information and to purchase tickets, visit oq.com.au