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Jeremy Kleeman -looking forward to returning to perform in Armidale.

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Q.  What are you most looking forward to about performing at Opera in the Paddock?

A.  I am really happy with how we have put together the program for Opera in the Paddock — it is a wonderful mix of opera, operetta, and classic songs, and I can’t wait to sing it all with orchestra.  I am also looking forward to teaming up with Tim Sexton again having really enjoyed worked with him on Cloudstreet in Adelaide last year, and finally, Armidale is where my Mum was born and where my grandparents lived and worked for a time — so it is always meaningful for me to come and sing in the area.

Jeremy Kleeman as Colline in Opera New England’s La Boheme (2014)

Q.  Have you had the opportunity to perform very often in rural Australia?

A.  I have a few relatives who live in regional areas and I would say that has developed a strong connection and understanding of the bush and the fantastic opportunities and challenges of living in a regional community. I have also performed quite a bit in rural Australia — Last year I got to see a lot of regional Australia on the Opera Australia regional tour of the Marriage of Figaro.  We visited about 20 towns including Armidale.  I have also taken part in another regional tour — The Magic Pudding throughout Victoria.  And I sang in Opera New England’s production of La boheme in 2014, again in Armidale.

Q.  What are some of the things you enjoy about the country?

A.  The fresh air, the many stars in the night sky, and the more relaxed setting.

Jeremy in Victorian Opera’s ‘ The Magic Pudding’.

Q.  Do you think there are any differences between rural and metropolitan audiences?

A. Certainly not when it comes to opera knowledge.  I regularly come across big opera fans in the country.  Perhaps if anything a greater appreciation for each performance as there aren’t generally as many.

Jeremy in ‘Voyage to the Moon’ with Emma Matthews and Sally-Anne Russell

Q.  What has been the highlight of your career to date?

A.  Being part of the creation of two new Australian operas last year, Cloudstreet, and Voyage to the Moon — the latter also being my first professional lead, my first national tour, and my first individual Helpmann Award and Green Room Award nomination.

 

Award winning Panayiota Kalatzis hits the highest note!

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After completing her Bachelor of Music in 2010, she continued to complete a Master of Music Studies in 2012 (QCGU).
Panayiota has recently returned home to Australia after being awarded the 2014 Australian International Opera Award, which grants the awardee a scholarship to study an MA in Advanced Vocal Studies at the Wales International Academy of Voice under the tutelage of Dennis O’Neill,
During her undergraduate studies Panayiota was a Mezzo-Soprano singing such roles as Zita Gianni Schicchi, Suor Zelatrice Suor Angelica, Dorothèe Cendrillon and Hermia A Midsummer Nights Dream.
Since transitioning to Soprano in 2013 Panayiota has been invited to sing in many distinguished events in Australia, UK and Europe and is delighted to have the opportunity to perform in the forthcoming Opera in the Paddock in 2017.

Read the full story about her Herald Sun Aria win HERE

 

 

 

 

FAQ’s about Opera in the Paddock – Mimosa

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Where is Mimosa located?

Opera in the paddock takes place on the property ‘Mimosa’

273 Blyth’s Lane, Delungra, NSW 2403. It is 25kms west of Inverell on the Gwydir Highway.

The concert is held in a rural paddock with risks associated with being in a bush environment. For those young children please be aware there is a creek nearby. Please take appropriate measures for your own safety and have a great night!

What time should I arrive?

Gates open at 3.30pm. Performance commences at 6pm. BYO seating, food and beverage.

What is the coach service available and how do I book it?

The Coach is $15 per person and will be picking up from the Tourist Centre and accommodation houses as required between 3:45 and 4pm to head out to the performance of Opera in the Paddock. There are two times available for the return trip. The 1st return will be at 8:40pm and the 2nd will be at 10pm. Guests will need to choose their return time at the time of booking.
Bookings can be made directly though the Tourist Centre on 02 6728 8161.

What should I wear?

The venue and audience seating areas are completely uncovered. The event is an all-weather experience and Opera North West is committed to going ahead with a performance of Opera in the Paddock at Mimosa even in doubtful or unfavourable weather conditions.

However whilst we all love the opportunity to get frocked up, remember that once the sun goes down it can become cool in the evening so please come prepared so that you are as comfortable as possible bring warm, weatherproof clothing and  as the concert is held in a rural paddock we highly recommend sensible footwear!

Can I bring chairs?

Yes, Seating is not supplied at the event so please BYO folding chairs.

Do I have to bring my own food and alcohol?

Nothing could be better than getting  a group of friends together, packing your picnic baskets and coming early to enjoy the tranquil surrounds of the paddock.  Please note that the event is BYO and that alcohol is not available to purchase on the site. However there will be a GOURMET BBQ WITH MEAT SUPPLIED BY BINDAREE BEEF. For only $15pp you can choose from the following

Hearty Beef Sausage; with Drunken Beer Onions, (Strong flavoured) cheese and chutney inside a crusty roll; Served with chunky chips.
Beef mushroom and caramelized onion Burger with pickles and chunky chips
Steak sandwich with coleslaw and tomato chutney served on sourdough bread with chunky chips
Platter of dips with pita bread and Antipasto

What happens if its raining?

The venue and audience seating areas are completely uncovered. The event is an all-weather experience and Opera North West is committed to going ahead with a performance of Opera in the Paddock at Mimosa even in doubtful or unfavourable weather conditions.

We are well aware of the current weather conditions.  At this stage, we are planning to go ahead in the paddock on Saturday 25 March.

The conditions at Mimosa have not been affected by recent weather.  The all-weather road provides secure access for all vehicles.  The parking bay has a gravel underlay.  The paddock had adequate grass coverage which is ensuring that it is firm underfoot.

However, we also have plans in place for a wet weather alternative venue in Inverell.  The performance will go ahead regardless and if we need to move to an alternative venue we will update our website and contact ticket buyers.  The Armidale performance will go ahead in the same venue regardless of the weather conditions.

In some weather conditions, there may be a delayed start time or the performance may be paused for up to 50 minutes at any point throughout the evening.

Auxiliary expenses including travel, accommodation or hospitality which you have arranged in conjunction with the performance are at your own risk and not refundable by Opera North West

Can I camp?

Bush camping is available at ‘Mimosa’ in the paddock adjacent to where the event takes place. Site are $15. Please book your camping site when booking tickets.

 

Wet Weather

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We are well aware of the current weather conditions.  At this stage, we are planning to go ahead in the paddock on Saturday 25 March.  

The conditions at Mimosa have not been affected by recent weather.  The all-weather road provides secure access for all vehicles.  The parking bay has a gravel underlay.  The paddock had adequate grass coverage which is ensuring that it is firm underfoot. 

However, we also have plans in place for a wet weather alternative venue in Inverell.  The performance will go ahead regardless and if we need to move to an alternative venue we will update our website and contact ticket buyers.  The Armidale performance will go ahead in the same venue regardless of the weather conditions.  We look forward to a wonderful event.

The things we do for love.

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Stories of transformation are not uncommon in the bush. The need to adapt to ever-changing conditions requires the ability to regenerate, reinvent, revitalise.

Tales of overcoming adversity and rising to the challenges thrown up by rural life are customary. There are always those who have the ability to turn events around in a way that has a positive impact, not just on their own lives, but more remarkably, on the lives of others.

This is exactly what opera singer Peta Blyth and her farming husband Bill have achieved. Imagine a professional opera singer at the height of her career, choosing to leave the international stages of Covent Garden and the Sydney Opera House behind, to move with her husband and two children to Delungra, NSW.

In 2002, with limited career opportunities available, Peta and Bill presented a small concert called Opera in the Paddock, on their property ‘Mimosa’. Looking back, Peta describes it as “slightly eccentric.” Their intention was “to have about 100 people, to stage the performance and that would be it,” she said.

Over fourteen years, the concert that began ‘on the back of a truck’ has grown to become a premier regional event in rural Australia. No stranger to major players, the event has attracted internationally renowned stars including Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Bradley Daley, Rosario La Spina, Jacqueline Mabardi, James Egglestone, Roxane Hislop and Elizabeth Lewis, just to name a few.

The event has grown in popularity to the point of attracting over 1,500 annually. This success has translated into the presentation of two performances of the exemplary event; the first at Lazenby Hall on Friday 24th March and the second in the paddock at ‘Mimosa’ Delungra on Saturday 25th March.

The popularity comes as no surprise. The program is designed to make the audience marvel at sublime music while being carried away by the power of the masterpieces and the artistry of the performers. It also promises to provide ample doses of fun and frivolity with much-loved opera classics and popular musical favourites.

Peta Blyth is looking forward to the next chapter of this iconic event. “We are really excited about this year’s program and the performers. Each performance will be exceptional.”

With the focus on the next generation of brilliantly talented singers, this year’s line-up includes mezzo soprano Eleanor Greenwood, sopranos Panayiota Kalatzis, bass baritone Jeremy Kleeman, tenor David Hamilton, as well as soprano Peta Blyth, accompanied by the Mimosa Orchestra conducted by Timothy Sexton.

“We are confident this year will be an uplifting experience that the audience will find both stimulating and exhilarating,” said Peta. “Whether enjoying the evening indoors at Lazenby, or unwinding in the beautiful surroundings of the paddock at Delungra, it will be the perfect place to relax and rediscover the very best world-class entertainment in the bush,” she said.

The outstanding success of Opera in the Paddock is testimony to Peta’s unrelenting passion and commitment to developing arts and culture in the bush. “It’s a celebration of what can be achieved by people who believe in our rural communities and our future,” she said.

Visit these spots for a close brush with the arts and culture of the region.

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You’ll find there’s always something inspirational going on in the region’s museums and galleries. We’ve put together a few suggestions for you to visit whilst you are in the area for the performances from a wonderful Tom Roberts exhibition in Inverell to the guided tours of the beautiful historic Saumarez Homestead  you’ll find there’s always something inspirational going on in the region’s museums and galleries and   Here we give you some ideas for some must-see and do experiences all within a short distance of Armidale or Inverell.

  • Shadowing Tom – “Shadowing Tom” by Christine Porter is an exhibition of paintings, mixed media and etchings, about Newstead Inverell, where Tom Roberts painted “The Golden Fleece”120 years ago. On display at the beautiful Inverell Art Gallery in Evans St.
  • Multicultural Day – Saturday, 25 March 2017 @ 10:30am- 2:30pm Campbell Park, Inverell.  Learn about the diverse range of cultures that call Inverell home. Taste traditional foods from around the globe and soak up the atmosphere with entertainment and displays from a multitude of countries.
  • New England Woodturning – Browse through the refurbished Yangoora gallery of hand crafted timber items, woodturning supplies and timber. Rob also makes and plays Didgeridoos. Demonstrations by appointment.
  • Wing Hing Long Museum – Wing Hing Long was established in the late nineteenth century as one of a number of stores servicing the tin mining communities of the Tingha district. Tin was first found in the area in the early 1870s. The discovery created a boom in productivity and population which peaked in the late nineteenth century and which declined as the tin was mined out.
  • Melissa Symonds Art, AK Bellinger Gallery, Itty Bitty Gallery. Beautiful art galleries with an extensive and diverse range of art and craft as unique as the galleries themselves.
  • New England Regional Arts Museum in Armidale (NERAM) is is the custodian of around 5000 works of art, including the Howard Hinton, Chandler Coventry and NERAM collections.. Autumn Program HERE
  • Visit the Armidale Folk museum to see the travelling exhibition ‘The Great War in Broad Outlines – a history of the First World War’ which is a Belgium Department of Foreign Affairs exhibition. It tells stories of the 33rd Battalion which consisted of about 1000 men – maintained at that level by continual reinforcements, from 6 to 27 March 2017.from 6 to 27 March 2017.
  • Country Art Escapes offers visitors and locals the opportunity to plan a day trip or longer cultural tour. Explore the artist studios, galleries, museums and other cultural venues and experiences of the New England North West region of New South Wales. http://www.countryartescapes.com.au/
  • Take a guided tour through the White family’s 30-room Edwardian mansion complete with original furnishings. Stroll through Mary White’s garden, with its Jocelyn Brown style cottage garden, the picking garden and the lawns. Visit outbuildings complete with 19th century tools and equipment.Devonshire teas, lunches and other refreshments are available at the Saumarez Café. Saumarez Homestead, Saumarez Road (enter from New England Highway via Armidale Airport). TIMES: homestead tours 10.30am, 2.00pm and 3.30pm (weekend and Public Holiday ONLY). Grounds open daily between 10.00am and 5.00pm. Café open 10.00am to 4.00pm. For more information, phone 02 6772 3616.

For more information visit www.armidaletourism.com.au  or www.inverell.com.au

 

 

Book your coach transfers from Inverell to Mimosa for only $15

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The Coach is $15 per person and will be picking up from the Tourist Centre and accommodation houses as required between 3:45 and 4pm to head out to the performance of Opera in the Paddock. There are two times available for the return trip. The 1st return will be at 8:40pm and the 2nd will be at 10pm. Guests will need to choose their return time at the time of booking.
Bookings can be made directly though the Tourist Centre on 02 6728 8161.

This years program announced!

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THIS YEAR’S PROGRAM ANNOUNCED.

As the countdown to Opera in the Paddock is down now to days, the program has well been finalised  and it’s looking great!

A real mix of classical and more popular  pieces, so something for everyone.

To start  with  the “full on” opera bit selections from Mozart’s Idomeneo,  Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte . Bellini’s La sonnambula, Verdi’s Ernani , Wagner’s Die Walkure and Bizet’s Carmen  to the realms of operetta  with The Gypsy Baron by Johann Strauss Jnr and  Kalman’s Countess Maritza.

Scottish tenor,  David Hamilton will delight with a bracket of  Scottish folk songs, as only David can perform them  and for a trip down memory lane excerpts from Lerner & Loewes’ Camelot , concluding  with  Nella Fantasia by Morricone.

So a full program that has plenty of variety with many  elements of fun! So pack you picnics and be ready  to be entertained.

 

Timothy Sexton on finding the next June Bronhill

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TIMOTHY SEXTON, CONDUCTOR OPERA IN THE PADDOCK, CEO AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, STATE OPERA OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Renowned conductor Timothy Sexton is set to take up the baton once again for the forthcoming major regional event Opera in the Paddock. The program promises to be both stimulating and exhilarating. This year will be the 6th time he takes up the baton as conductor for Opera in the Paddock, what keeps him coming back?  Simple, he really enjoys the opportunity to do things differently and to ” take part in events which communicate in a special way with audiences… It takes music out to people in a very memorable way.”

He is passionate about giving everybody the right to be able to access  high quality cultural events. “Access to culture is a birthright, no matter where you live. What we do with Opera in the Paddock is not elitist, but elite, in exactly the same way that we refer to athletes as being elite – i.e. artists at the top of their game. What better way to find the new June Bronhill (born in Broken Hill) or the new David Hobson (born in Ballarat) than to be out and amongst them, sharing that experience?” he said.

He believes there are lots of other benefits to performing in the bush, from the wonderful sometimes “electric” reaction from the audiences, to the strong sense of community that always feels, like coming home (he was born in county South Australia).

And of course there is the wonderful experience of conducting under the stars, he has a passion for Astronomy having built his own telescope from scratch at the age of 12 and he has his own observatory at home.
” The stars add that extra sense of space and magic to a performance, especially on a very still night.

However his most memorable moments are ” the moments when that magic occurs and there is no barrier between the stage and the audience. It is at those moments that time stands still.”

Read the full article with Timothy Sexton in this month Focus Magazine.