OPERA AIDA COMES TO COOLANGATTA
Six performances of opera AIDA lands on Coolangatta beach from September 21 – 30 with what has to be the Gold Coast’s most ambitious outdoor production. Opera Australia’s Griffith Opera on the Beach is presenting the ultimate musical experience – certainly unlike anything available at La Scala, The Bolshoi or even Paris Opéra; grand as they are being the top opera houses for the global stage.
Particularly famous for the ‘Triumphal March’, Giuseppe Verdi’s greatest and most dramatic operatic work promises to be just as showy, when Coolangatta beach becomes an Egyptian wonderland - live camels, giant Pharaoh towers, local lifesavers and 150 shots of fireworks included.
First released in 1871 and still standing as one of the world’s most significant romantic works, AIDA presents a love tragedy of an Ethiopian Princess and her Egyptian captor, General Ramades set against the times of Ancient Egypt in a land ripe for rebellion. AIDA has always stood out for its turmoil, opulent settings, colourful costumes, monumental cast and orchestra - and one of the very few operas to include a black heroine.
Verdi’s most famous work will be reimagined through the eyes of set designer David Fleischer and costume designer Anna Cordingley. Brisbane ex-pat, Queensland Conservatorium alum - he of the legendary octave spread between thumb and forefinger on the piano - Tahu Matheson sits in the conducting seat with Hugh Halliday taking the Director’s chair, while Brisbane’s Expressions Dance Company, Opera Australia Community Chorus and musicians from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University flesh out the greater part of the performing company. Given the mammoth task of two hours and forty minutes with four acts, Natalie Aroyan and Anna-Louise Cole will be sharing Aida’s soprano duties, while Arnold Rawls takes on Radames alongside a prime cast of the country’s top operatic voices. It will certainly be on par with 2014’s production of Mozart’s THE MAGIC FLUTE.
A variety of experiences are on offer with AIDA’s “doors” opening from sunset. Three pop up bars, the Beach Bar, Foreshore Bar and A-Reserve Bar present the flavours of North Africa and the Middle East with gourmet treats, picnic hampers and baskets – of course rounded off by the obligatory bubbles.
There will be no need for BYO, with Baskk at Kirra, Bin 72, O Sushi and The Cooly Coolangatta Hotel ideal starting points for bubbles, cocktails and dining, with Gelatissimo the perfect end to the night: in keeping with the spirit of the night, the scoops of Poached Figs in Marsala and Pannacotta with Fig Jam & Amaretti Biscuit or Salted Coconut & Mango Salsa Sorbet just might hit the spot.