Opera Queensland has joined forces with Sydney Dance Company to teach hundreds of Queenslanders a new fandango for the wedding celebration finale of The Barber of Seville for Project Rossini.
Project Rossini will involve nearly 250 Queenslanders in eight regional choruses in a new touring production of Gioacchino Rossini’s opera. Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela was invited to choreograph a dazzling Spanish dance, which was then taught to chorus members through a step-by-step video.
OperaQ Artistic Director Lindy Hume said the collaboration was an obvious choice. “Rafael was my dream choreographer for this project so I’m thrilled he happily accepted our invitation to contribute his own very special moment in my crazy and colourful new production,” Ms Hume said.
“The opera is set in Spain, of course, so who better than Rafael Bonachela – the owner of Australia’s most charming Spanish accent, and a highly celebrated international choreographer – to create a flamboyant fandango for the opera’s happy ending!
“It’s exciting to think each of the choruses across Queensland for our new production will be learning and performing moves created especially for them by the globally acclaimed Artistic Director of Sydney Dance Company.”
Ms Hume also expressed her delight in the cross art form collaboration between two of Australia’s Major Performing Arts Organisations.
“OperaQ and Sydney Dance Company are both very community-oriented companies – we both have tours across regional Queensland in 2016, so it’s perfect. We had great fun recording the choreography video and now I cannot wait to see the fandango spread across Queensland.”
Aspiring performers from eight communities – Gold Coast, Mackay, Fraser Coast (Maryborough), Rockhampton, Townsville, Toowoomba, and for the first time, Cairns and Gladstone – participated in a free six-week development program to hone their singing, dancing, stagecraft and Italian language skills, before taking to the stage in July and August in their local theatres, alongside some of Queensland’s best singers and the support of an ensemble from Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
Mr Bonachela said, “Sydney Dance Company is excited to collaborate with OperaQ on this award winning initiative. We are always seeking innovative ways to engage with the community and Project Rossini provided the perfect opportunity to connect with so many aspiring Queensland performers.”
“The timing of Project Rossini is also perfect, tying in with Sydney Dance Company’s CounterMove tour to venues across regional Queensland in July. I hope to drop in and see some of the dance rehearsals in action during our travels.”
The Barber of Seville
9 – 23 July @ Playhouse, QPAC
17 June – 27 August
Photo by Steve Henry