14/02/14

Opera Queensland today announced Toowoomba would be one of eight regional communities involved in a world-first project that will give nearly 400 everyday people the opportunity to perform in the chorus of a brand new production of La bohème.

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‘Project Puccini’ is a hugely ambitious $2 million initiative, which will train 48 Queenslanders in each participating region to sing and act alongside OperaQ’s principal artists and Queensland Symphony Orchestra musicians in a professionally staged opera.

Auditions for Toowoomba adults and children to become a part of the ‘Empire Theatre Chorus’ will be held from 17 to 19 March 2014. Successful chorus members will then take part in a 10-week development program before performing in La bohème at Empire Theatre on 15 August.

OperaQ will employ a local chorus master and rehearsal coordinator, and work with Empire Theatre and local sponsors to ensure the highest standard of performance and personal development opportunities for budding local artists.

Project Puccini aims to equip participants with improved music and drama skills, new social and creative networks, and an increased sense of community and wellbeing.

Arts Minister Ian Walker said the Queensland Government supported Project Puccini and the La bohème regional tour with funding of $399,954 through Arts Queensland’s Playing Queensland Fund. “Project Puccini offers a unique opportunity for everyday Queenslanders to perform in a professional production,” he said. “This is an excellent example of our Arts for all Queenslanders commitment in action, delivering more great arts and culture for more Queenslanders.”

All Project Puccini participants and supporters can connect online through www.operaq.com.au/project-puccini to share their experiences, stories, video and images.