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Why Opera Choruses? - it's just like Roy Orbison...

There are a few commonly held misconceptions about Opera – that it is ‘highbrow’; that it is ‘serious’ or ‘heavy’; that it is difficult to understand and appreciate; and that it is not fun.

Highbrow? – definitely not. Operas, like the plays of Shakespeare, were created and composed for everyone to enjoy, not just the intellectuals and the ‘longhairs’.

Serious and heavy? Some opera is serious, some of it deals with weighty issues. This is true of every literary genre, from Greek tragedy to comic books. But lots and lots of opera is as light hearted and joyous as the best pop music.

Difficult to understand? If it’s performed in in its original language, and you don’t speak it, then the answer is yes. But with a good translation of the libretto, the difficulty disappears.

Not fun? Don’t make me laugh! Opera, like any musical or theatrical endeavour, is primarily a form of entertainment. It plays on all one’s emotions, to be sure; it can make you feel happy, sad, angry, ecstatic, frightened and heart-broken. But isn’t that what movies and musicals do? Of course Opera is FUN!

Opera is nothing more or less than story-telling, set to music. Just like great musicals. Just like great country and folk music. Just like Roy Orbison!

Not only is it fun, but there is an endless amount of music in opera that is simply, undeniably, sublimely beautiful.

These days, staging of operatic works is incredibly demanding, financially and logistically. And attendance at a professional operatic production usually necessitates going to a capital city, and is quite an expensive undertaking.

Putting on a concert of well-known and well-loved opera choruses is a way to give music lovers a taste of what is a much loved musical genre, and it’s also a way to introduce opera ‘novices’ to a whole musical world – a bit of a ‘toe in the water’. Apart from that, it gives us choristers an opportunity to put on our ‘opera voices’ and get into it, an opportunity that we have leapt at with enthusiasm and passion.

Our conductor for this concert series, Benjamin Oxley has a wealth of operatic experience behind him, as both conductor and performer. He is possessed of a fine, rich tenor voice. He is thus ideally suited to leading the Choir for what promises to be a simply delightful afternoon of wonderful, timeless music.

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