Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life


Local students of Mackay will experience the opportunity of a lifetime when they perform alongside Australia’s finest professional opera vocalists at the MECC this month.

Opera Australia is Australia’s largest performing arts company, presenting over 700 performances to more than half a million people every year.

The company will return to Mackay with its 27th annual national tour, showcasing crowd favourite The Barber of Seville with a choir of local students as part of the company’s Regional Children's Chorus program.

The program involves recruiting a local chorus of students in each participating town to perform as part of the touring production, enabling them to take the first steps on their own special journeys with opera.

Led by Choir Leader Nicole Thomson, the students have been hard at work rehearsing, learning music, harmonies, and Italian lyrics – quite the feat for some of the students with limited experience in a language other than English.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for regional singers, they’re learning so much and are all looking forward to performing on stage with Opera Australia” Ms Thomson said.

For many of the students, this will be their first taste of live performance in front of an audience.

“We can’t wait to showcase our hard work on stage at the MECC, it will be an exciting night for all involved” she continued.

Taking opera out of the major cities and into regional areas remains an imperative part of Opera Australia’s annual program, says CEO Fiona Allan.

“We’re aiming to increase access to live performance to regional areas and inspire new generations to take the stage through the ongoing Regional Children’s Chorus program.” Allan said.

Opera Australia will delight Mackay audiences with the original Italian version of The Barber of Seville, with English subtitles. This contemporary Australian spin brings fresh energy and vibrancy to one of the world’s most loved operas.

Those who were unable to join the community choir are invited to attend a community workshop session with Opera Australia on Tuesday 1 August in the Lynette Denny Space. For more workshop information, please email

What: Opera Australia: The Barber of Seville

When: Monday 31 July 2023, 7.30pm

Where: MECC Auditorium


Back row L-R - Amelia Webber, Amelia Beckmann, Alexis Bickford, Sophia Stevens, Alita Huyton, Ruby Galletly-Hope Middle row LR - Kelsey McNichol, Katelyn Basham, Charlotte Basham, Poppy Thomson, Kane Robertson Front row L-R - Claire Phillips, Juliet Beckmann, Olivia Vella, Tamzyn Chambers, Addison Pianeda, Hannah Grech, Henry Miller Absent - Madeline Curran, Lisa Ford, Ella Freer, Lucy Niendorf, Imogen Trewavis

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