Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky Co-Opera

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A delightful outdoor opera experience held in the grounds of historic Langford. This fabulous Co-Opera Australia production of Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky will be held on Saturday 1 April 2017. 

What is EUGENE ONEGIN?

Tchaikovsky described Eugene Onegin as “The best thing I ever wrote”, which is remarkable given his many timeless masterpieces including Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. This very special production, sung largely in English but with select pieces in the original Russian, draws the audience into the world of Eugene Onegin, a man with movie star good looks, money and the world at his feet, but where none of these privileges can save him from himself.

Eugene Onegin will feature opulent costumes based on 19th Century Russian fashion trends, with production elements designed to link the artists with audiences and to make connections between period Russia and the “city” attitudes of the time with those of modern Australia.

How did it make its way to beautiful Walcha?

The owners of Langford House, Barry and Beverly Marshall, made contact with Co-Opera Australia prior to their 2015 season, a meeting was arranged with Brian Chatterton, Artistic Director and General Manager, and it was decided that Langford would be an ideal venue to stage an opera. The successful staging of The Mikado last year proved that this was indeed the case! Co-Opera will again delight audiences with the fabulous production of Eugene Onegin in the grounds of Langford House on Saturday April 1st, 2017.

Tell us a little about Langford House, where the Opera will be held?

Langford House was built in 1903 and is the second home on the site, the first being Villa Wolka and the foundation of settlement of the New England. Walcha was the first part of the Northern Tablelands to be discovered by the explorer John Oxley, and Langford is built on the site of the explorer’s camp of 8th and 9th September 1818.

Purchased by Barry and Beverly Marshall in 2000, restoration took ten years, with the addition of several bedrooms and a function area.

Langford is still a private home apart from occasional weddings and the Walcha Mountain Festival, which is held in the grounds in October each year. We are very much looking forward to presenting another successful opera event at Langford House this year.

Tell us about Co-Opera and the line up of performers?

Co-Opera Australia was established in 1990 in South Australia by Brian Chatterton, David Cox and Tessa Bremner, to provide opportunities for emerging Australian artists and to deliver communities with high quality, accessible and affordable opera performances.

Since then Co-Opera has toured annually and has visited every state and territory in Australia, as well as having toured numerous times to Singapore, Malaysia, Germany and into Switzerland and Austria, delivering quality, affordable opera to regional and remote audiences.

Co-opera’s greatest joy is bringing popular pieces to audiences who would otherwise have to travel long distances, pay a lot of money or simply just miss out.

Emerging artist, mezzo-soprano Bronwyn Douglass, will be making her debut with the company in the role of Olga. Bronwyn holds a Masters in Operatic performance from Queensland Conservatorium and is looking forward to touring with Co-Opera and sharing her role with audiences.

Also debuting in his role, Branko Lovrinov will sing the role of Lensky the poet and Eugene Onegin’s best friend. Branko holds a Bachelor of Music (Honours) in voice and a Master of Philosophy in Music, which focused on Russian and Croatian operatic repertoire.

Bronwyn and Branko play a young engaged couple and their voices, while perfectly suited to their individual roles, when united, blend together with exquisite beauty as they soar through the sublime melodies.

What can people expect on the day?

Audiences will be swept away by the craft of these highly talented artists bringing to life the glorious music, the rich costumes, sets and dances, and the compelling and very human story of Eugene Onegin.

They can look forward to a wonderful picnic opera experience in the grounds of Langford House, one of the most historic homes in New South Wales.   Gates open at 1pm, with some pre-opera entertainment prior to the main performance of Eugene Onegin at 4pm.

A sumptuous High Tea will be served in the Langford Conservatory from 1:30pm prior to the opera, or bring your own picnic to enjoy in the expansive grounds of Langford House. Tickets, including the performance and High Tea, will need to be pre-purchased. High Tea ticket holders will be treated to a special duet performance in the Conservatory and also a meet and greet with performers.

This is a BYO drinks and seating event; however, some seating will be available on a first come basis. Tchaikovsky’s best-loved opera, Eugene Onegin will feature Co-Opera’s amazingly talented singers and a fantastic 11 piece orchestra.  Full biographies of all artists can be viewed at http://walchansw.com.au/whats-on

How can FOCUS readers be a part of this special occasion?

Langford is a magnificent venue, so take this opportunity to get a group of friends or your family together and enjoy a delightful opera experience in a truly unique setting at Langford House.

THE PLUG

Readers can book tickets online at www.trybooking.com/NPNA or make enquiries by phoning Lisa or Susie at Walcha Visitor Information Centre. Phone (02) 6774 2460.

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