Opera in the Otways

If you’ve already got your tickets, we very much look forward to seeing you. If you would like to purchase tickets, they are still available online at www.otwaysopera.com.au or by calling the Lightstation on 03 5237 9240.

WORLD-CLASS conductor Dr David Kram will join operatic tenor Jonathon Welch AM and soprano Deborah Cheetham to perform a rich programme spanning 300 years at the fifth Opera in the Otways, on Saturday, November 17, 2pm-6pm.

Dr Kram, who has conducted singers from the Met New York, London’s Covent Garden and La Scala Milan, will direct an ensemble of six musicians and four singers against the dramatic backdrop of Cape Otway Lightstation and the Southern Ocean.

Mr Welch, best known for his leadership of the award winning Choir of Hard Knocks, has prepared a programme of popular operatic arias, duets and ensembles by Verdi, Puccini and Mozart, from La Traviata, La Boh, La Rondine and The Marriage of Figaro.

The afternoon’s programme will also feature popular songs and ensembles from three of the great music theatre and operetta composers – with Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, George Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, plus Lehar’s Merry Widow.

The finale will feature excerpts from Deborah Cheetham’s enthralling Pecan Summer – Australia’s first Indigenous opera.

Opera in the Otways will be a reunion of sorts.

Dr Kram was musical director for Pecan Summer, and the cast included Deborah Cheetham, Jonathon Welch AM, Tiriki Onus and Shauntai Batzke who are all confirmed for the open air performance at the Lightstation.

“The programme has really been drawn from the wonderful talents of the singers that I’m so honoured to have the chance to share the stage with,” Mr Welch said.

“Spanning 300 years of music in a two-hour concert is only possible when you have talented singers like Deborah, Tiriki and Shauntai, and we can’t wait to sing the beautiful music from Puccini to Pecan Summer.

“The music is very lyrical and underscores so beautifully the very complex issues and journey of the Cummeragunja Walk Off and the Stolen Generation,” said Mr Welch, who performed in the sell-out season in 2011 at the State Theatre in Melbourne and more recently in Perth.

Lightstation manager Paul Thompson said veteran comedian Rod Quantock is confirmed as MC and the opening act is The Twoks, with Xani Kolac on electric violin and Mark Leahy on drums.

“Opera in the Otways has a strong following – we draw our audience of up to 450 from across South Western Victoria and Melbourne – and some have never missed a show,” Mr Thompson said.

He said the event was an exciting afternoon of fine music and wonderful voices which showcased the best of the Otways scenery, with the chance to picnic on locally produced beers, wines and gourmet food.