Close encounters of the opera kind
MONKLAND State School students Shontelle Gleeson and Georgina Thomas had an encounter of a different kind yesterday.
The students were treated to Opera Queensland’s new children’s opera Space Encounters — a 50-minute fully-staged performance featuring three vocalists singing to live piano accompaniment.
The cast consisted of mezzo-soprano Louise Dorsman and soprano Jill Carter as astronauts Jefferson and Harris, pianist Kylie Los as Roland the Robot and baritone Darian Johns as the alien Zolo.
The production gave the young audience a fantastic introduction to opera and theatrical storytelling through music and voice. At the conclusion of the performance, students participated in a 10-minute question and answer session with the artists.
Two of Australia’s leading creative artists, Brisbane-based composer and conductor Sean O’Boyle and renowned film and television writer, actor and director Ian McFadyen were commissioned by Opera Queensland to create this exciting new opera for primary school audiences.
Issues raised in the work deal with identity, self-image, isolation and relationships. Opera Queensland anticipates Space Encounters will emulate the success of Hansel and Gretel, its previous children’s opera, which entertained almost 50,000 students during its three-year tour.