ON Sunday, July 22, Opera at the Channon will present its 15th musical event set in the rural splendour of The Channon.
It's a time to dress up, maybe enjoy lunch with the "silver service" option (or just bring a picnic and something sparkling to drink), and after lunch enjoy some fine music from the opera company Operatif!
This is the first time the company has provided the music for this event. But they have plenty of experience. Operatif! runs the annual Opera in Paradise festival on Norfolk Island, as well as creating and hosting music-lovers tours of Europe.
"We are certainly always busy," said Operatif! soprano and co-founder Jennifer Parish, who with baritone Stewart Cameron will perform at this year's opera event.
The pair will bring Tongan-Samoan tenor Benjamin Makisi and mezzo soprano Hayley Sugars to the green hills of The Channon. Hayley is home from Germany for just a few weeks taking a break from her tenure at Wiesbaden Opera House.
"Hayley is the consummate mezzo soprano," Jennifer said. "She is a coloratura mezzo so people can expect many high notes and vocal gymnastics in her solos. Benjamin, in contrast, has a truly beautiful lyric tenor voice which would melt the coldest heart."
Program highlights include the tenor-baritone duet from Bizet's Pearl Fishers, In the Depths of the Temple from Verdi's Rigoletto, and plenty of big arias and duets from Verdi and Puccini.
The program will also feature songs from musicals such as The Impossible Dream, Stranger in Paradise and You'll Never Walk Alone. The singers will be accompanied by Scottish-born pianist John Woods who has played with singers and instrumentalists throughout Europe.
Opera at The Channon is organised by the Combined Rotary Clubs of Lismore and raises money for local charities.
Tickets are $145/60 from www.operaatthechannon.com.au.
Or you can phone Norpa on 1300 066 772. Or visit their website at www.norpa.org.au (where you can also book the bus service from Byron, Lennox Head, Ballina, Alstonville and Lismore. Cost is $15 return).