OPERA AT JIMBOUR Celebrates 20 Years With Biggest Program Ever

A weekend of world-class opera and chamber music at the glorious Jimbour House will mark  the 20th year celebration of the biennial event.

By: Mar. 20, 2023
OPERA AT JIMBOUR Celebrates 20 Years With Biggest Program Ever

Twenty years after its first event, Opera at Jimbour will return from May 5 to 7 with a rich program to make its decades-long heritage proud. The capstone event of Qld Music Trails' Southern Trail, gives classical connoisseurs a chance to immerse in the stunning Western Downs region while enjoying the spoils of the state's finest arts.

A year of anniversaries, this Opera at Jimbour, presented by QMF, Western Downs Regional Council and Opera Queensland, also marks 100 years since the estate was acquired by its current owners, the Russell family. The three-day event will boast a positively Allargando program including 11 distinct concert programs with over 16 hours across 68 pieces of chamber and opera music. Opera at Jimbour will feature a star-studded lineup of internationally renowned soloists and chamber musicians from Opera Queensland, Ensemble Q and a 26-piece Orchestra from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. Opera Queensland CEO & Artistic Director Patrick Nolan reflects on the long-standing partnership saying,

Opera Queensland is committed to sharing the wonder and joy of opera with regional audiences across Queensland. QMF and Jimbour House over many years have been integral partners in this mission. We look forward to continuing this relationship in 2023 and collaborating with Ensemble Q to immerse audiences in a program of opera and fine music making in and around the majesty and beauty of this unique location."

Since its inaugural year in 2003, the iconic open-sky stage at Jimbour House has hosted world class performers like Deborah Humble, Sarah Macliver, Natalie Peluso, and Bradley Daley. In 2011, the largest Opera at Jimbour ensemble in history filled the stage, with a 180-piece combined choir and orchestra. Two years later a massive storm ensured the muddiest year in the concert's history, while 2017 drew the most patrons of all, with 10,000 visitors in a day.

100 years ago, Wilfred Adams Russell and Millicent Russell purchased Jimbour House and the surrounding property from the family of Thomas Bell. This year's event at the famed Jimbour House will include breathtaking Gala events on the Eastern lawn, exquisite chamber music under the twinkling lights of the old plane Hanger, intimate recitals inside the opulent Drawing Room, and exclusive tours through the halls of the historic Jimbour House as it comes to life with the sounds of Australia's most elite performers.

Performing this May in the glorious setting will be revered artists Daniel De Borah, Lotte Betts-Dean, Carlos Barcenas, Hayley Sugars and Paul Dean - whose original composition, 'Australian Song,' will be making its world premiere. Iconic favourites such as will bring the Eastern Lawn Gala stage to life over two spectacular programs, plus late 18th and early 19th century opera classics, including excerpts from The Elixir of Love and Don Giovanni, and music of Mozart, Rossini and Donizetti. Alongside this, the all too familiar melodies of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, Beethoven's Moonlight Piano Sonata, Barber's haunting Adagio for Strings and Copland's Appalachian Spring, among many more, will reverberate through the stunning grounds. Whether this is the first year attending Opera at Jimbour or the tenth, audiences will be treated to a broad program from sunrise until moon rise. The full repertoire can be found at Click Here.

Ensemble Q Co-Artistic Director Trish Dean shares, "We are so delighted to be given the opportunity to bring Ensemble Q to Opera at Jimbour and curate a program of chamber music concerts in the incredible atmosphere and acoustics of the Hangar and Jimbour House. We have designed the program to complement the already highly popular Opera at Jimbour, to celebrate the stunning location and to take Queensland Music Trails on a musical journey like no other."

Welcome to Country and First Nations storytelling will be brought to the Jimbour Homestead by Shannon Bauwens, an experienced cultural heritage practitioner and tribal custodian of the Wakka Wakka with a deep historical connection to the property. He is a direct descendent of Harry Bunda Darlow, an Aboriginal stockman who had a close relationship with the Bell family. He has a fascinating story from the early 1900s on Wakka Wakka country, where he spent his entire life.

Trail-goers are encouraged to immerse themselves for three relaxing days of music on the Western Downs. Savour local produce, browse crafts by local artisans and sample bubbly beverages at the Jimbour markets. Make a weekend of it by camping on the grounds, and enjoy delicious offerings from regional providores on site - even splurge on the Jimbour House Long Lunch in the Courtyard!

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said Opera at Jimbour offered a unique opportunity to showcase the region as a destination of choice.

"The Western Downs is bursting with rich experiences that tell the story of who we are, and the fabulous region we choose to call home," Cr McVeigh said.

"This magnificent event allows us to come together and experience the sensational craft of Opera music, while offering a wider opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in our vibrant and welcoming community.

"We are delighted to see this world-class event return in 2023, and I look forward to celebrating all the great things on offer here on the Western Downs."

Tickets for Opera at Jimbour concert and camping are on sale now via Click Here.

Opera at Jimbour is a Queensland Music Trails event presented by QMF, Western Downs Regional Council and Opera Queensland and supported by Griffith University, CS Energy and Norwest. The event is also supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It's Live! in Queensland events calendar.


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