‘We love this 400 year old art form and we want others to have the opportunity to experience its power and beauty in a myriad of ways and venues, and for a price people can afford to pay,’ OperaQ’s artistic director Lindy Hume said.
She said twenty-five dollars was a bargain—‘about the same as a pizza and a beer’.
The company first offered discounted tickets to last month's La traviata and was surprised by the response.
Every ticket sold and more than 1,200 of those who saw the show had never bought an OperaQ ticket before.
Ms Hume said Candide was a good entry point for newcomers because ‘it's more music theatre than opera’ with ‘eight principals who sing, dance and act. The whole triple treat’.
OperaQ is also offering people the opportunity to train with the company’s professional artists at the Candide Open Stage workshop and become part of the final performance ofCandide as well as QPAC’sLunchtime Live series.
The company then heads out west on 25 July with Queensland Music Festival for the iconic Opera at Jimbour, transforming a Darling Downs paddock into the world’s biggest ballroom with a free, semi-staged concert of Johan Strauss’s champagne operetta Fledermaus.
From 2 to 21 August OperaQ will take The Adventures of Figaroto 8 regional towns: Maleny, Maryborough, Capella, Proserpine, Charters Towers, Townsville, Ayr and Hughenden. It’s a 90-minute version ofThe Barber of Seville, sung in English, and is esigned to fit into small venues, festivals, pop-up spaces and even pubs.
In September OperaQ joins forces with Brisbane Festival to present a very different take on Verdi’sMacbeth, reset among warlords, double-crossing businessmen and a raging conflict over mineral resources in the Congo.
September is also the month for more classic opera enthusiasts featuringRenée Fleming in concert andFrom Broadway to La Scala.
The OperaQ classroom hit—FiZZ!, based on Donizetti’sThe Elixir of Love—which has been seen by more than 10,000 Queensland kids, will continue its primary school tour in the second half of 2015 including regional centres and a special season at Ipswich Civic Theatre on 1 and 2 October.
In announcing the new line up, Lindy Hume said the future of OperaQ was all about removing barriers and tearing down some of the ways that opera had made itself intimidating or inaccessible over the years.