A wealthy relative has just expired, the family gathers around the death bed squeezing out crocodile tears while frantically searching for the will. Things escalate when a rumour circles that there is no inheritance, in fact the money has been left to the church! Gold Coast 2019? Nope, Florence 1918!
So goes the premise of Opera Gold Coast’s next bold operatic tour de force, with November seeing them step up to the stage to deliver what promises to be their finest production yet, an innovative and vibrant re-imagining of Giacomo Puccini’s ‘Gianni Schicchi’.
Opera Gold Coast are a collective of creative enthusiasts whose mission is to bring the world of opera to people who may normally shy away from the traditional opera experience. In their own words; “We want to bring fantastic stories and amazing pieces of music in intimate, engaging productions, and to contemporary audiences.”
Their stellar work was recognised at the 2016 Gold Coast music awards, where they were nominated as finalists in the ‘event of the year’ category for their first production, a bold re-working of Guiseppe Verdi’s classic opera ‘La Traviata’ (the fallen woman), translated from Italian into English. This was followed in 2017 by another stellar re-working, this time of the seminal ‘Pagliacci’ (‘Clowns’).
More known for the luscious romance and drama in opera block blusters La Boheme, Tosca and Madame Butterfly, Giacomo Puccini was at the height of his career when he created his only comic opera, ‘Gianni Schicchi’. This unique and hilarious work features one of history’s most iconic ‘arias’ (a song for one voice), the unforgettable ‘O mio babbino caro.’
Melanie Smart, one of Opera Gold Coast’s most active creative forces and performers, says of the process of putting together this performance: “We have been working tirelessly for months to bring this epic piece of work to life. Puccini’s music is fabulous, it will stay with you.”
She’s also enthusiastic about it’s ability to engage and delight audiences who may not be traditional opera goers.
“We are working hard to make opera accessible to modern Gold Coast audiences. I think a lot of people would be surprised by how much they’d enjoy live opera. We have found that most of our audience members have never seen an opera before, and they have been blown away by the experience!”
Opera Gold Coast’s performance of Gianni Schicchi, which will be presented in Italian with English subtitles, will be held at Helensvale Cultural Centre on 29 November at 7.30pm and 30 November at 2pm and 7.30pm. Hop over to Trybooking (BDXNR) for tix, or call 0401 889 616.
IMAGE: Melanie Smart Lauretta and John Nicholson Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi.