“Our vision is to produce fine quality music in the country”
Opera North West was formed in 2006 after five years of presenting Opera in the Paddock at Mimosa, Delungra, west of Inverell, north West New South Wales. The brainchild of opera singer, Peta Blyth OAM and farmer, Bill Blyth the first performance of Opera in the Paddock was held on the family farming property in March 2002. Set amidst an idyllic Australian bush backdrop, the inaugural performance featured two singers – soprano Peta Blyth and tenor David Hamilton with pianist David Miller and flautist, Paul Curtis. The concert was acclaimed an immediate success with to the audience spellbound on a perfect starry night.
Subsequent performances grew over the years to the stature of the 10th anniversary concert in 2011 which featured an orchestra of twenty professional players seven of the country’s top opera singers, a pianist, didgeridoo soloist and conductor with a finale of celebratory fireworks.
The 2012 performance culminated in a performance with six opera singers, an orchestra of twenty- two, a didgeridoo soloist, pianist, conductor and a choir of fourteen young singers. Since 2011 Opera Australia has been a Performance Partner and provides an invaluable assistance with artists, costumes where applicable and orchestral scores. Opera in the Paddock had become an important cultural regional event, attracting people from all over Australia with some international visitors, drawn to the uniquely Australian atmosphere of the event. Always employing the country’s finest singers and instrumentalists, the event had maintained a high quality performance with skilled lighting and sound technicians and a now permanent stage fixture. Many audience members have returned year after year describing the experience as unique.
Each year, a number of valued volunteers have contributed to the success of Opera in the Paddock in many ways providing invaluable assistance with setting up, catering for artists, program selling and manning the gate. The Inverell SES have done a stirling job with parking cars and coaches for each event. Such contributions have been greatly appreciated. The entire paddock team have grown to be somewhat of a large family with a common goal.
Over the past five years, Opera North West has extended its program to present smaller scale concerts in other centres – Tenterfield, Lismore, Moree, Narrabri, Tamworth, Grafton, Armidale, Coffs Harbour, New Italy and Inverell. A range of programs have included Mother’s Day Magic, Serenade, Serenade with a Touch of Jazz, Spring Concerts,Opera Galas, Celestial Sounds featuring music from Baroque to modern. November 2014 saw the highly successful performance of Opera at Langford, Walcha.
All concerts have featured many professional musicians living in the New England, north west region of New South Wales with many young talented performers welcoming the opportunity to be featured alongside the established professional counterparts.
In 2010 a Friends of Opera in the Paddock (FOPO) to support Opera North West. The first function was a Lunch on Stage for 120 people, held in October 2010. The event raised funds for the conductor for the following Opera in the Paddock.
In December 2014, the Friends of Opera held a fundraising Cocktail Party for the upcoming event.
Opera North West Ltd is a non profit organisation with Deductible Gift and Charity Concession Status. All donations are tax deductible. DONATE TODAY.