Melbourne's Opera Community Will Hold Bushfire Charity Gala

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Melbourne's Opera Community Will Hold Bushfire Charity Gala

Melbourne's opera community is banding together to raise funds for the Red Cross Bushfire Disaster Relief Fund, with 50 of the country's leading singers performing in concert at the Athenaeum Theatre on 7 February.

The stellar lineup for the Gala includes Rosamund Illing, Suzanne Johnston, Antoinette Halloran, Alexander Lewis, Lee Abrahmsen, Margaret Haggart, Roger Howell, Adrian Tamburini, Stephen Smith, Dimity Shepherd, Roxane Hislop, John O'May, Michael Cormick, Suzanne Shakespeare, Mike Snell, Phillip Calcagno and a host of others. They'll perform a program of operatic arias, duets and ensembles by Verdi, Puccini, Rossini, Donizetti, Bernstein, Bizet, Strauss and many more. Accompanists include Maestro Anthony Negus, Phoebe Briggs, Raymond Lawrence, Phillipa Safey and Dean Sky-Lucas. All artists, staff and technicians have donated their services and ALL PROCEEDS GO TO THE RED CROSS DISASTER RELIEF FUND.

Celebrated Bass-baritone Adrian Tamburini led the charge, reaching out on social media to suggest the idea of a fundraiser. The response was overwhelming.

"It was breaking my heart that huge parts of the country were burning over the Christmas period. All I could think of was to bring together my friends in the opera community to raise money for all those who have lost their property and their loved ones, and need to rebuild their lives."

What then began as a modest attempt to bring together a group of artists looking to help and make sense of the tragedy has quickly escalated into an unprecedented event, with the Athenaeum offering the theatre in support.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity to provide a platform for artists to utilise their talents in support of such a vital cause," says Greg Hocking at the Athenaeum. "And for audiences to support the Red Cross relief fund while also enjoying the efforts of this incredible lineup of performers."

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