The talented students make up 80% of the orchestra – providing a lush musical backdrop for the spectacular open-air production of Verdi’s Aida.
The production builds on the success of the inaugural event held in 2014, which attracted an audience of 8,000.
Griffith University is the naming sponsor for the 2017 series, which features star alumni from the Queensland Conservatorium, including conductor Tahu Matheson and mezzo soprano Sian Pendry, who plays the jilted Egyptian princess Amneris.
The production also gives current Queensland Conservatorium students the opportunity to work alongside some of Australia’s best classical musicians.
Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Scott Harrison said Griffith Opera on the Beach was a rare opportunity for Queensland Conservatorium students to engage in a professional musical production. He said a number of students who participated in The Magic Flute in 2014 are now engaged in the industry.
“We already present fully-staged operas as part of the students’ training. We have just wrapped our annual opera production – L’Enfant – a blockbuster double bill helmed by UK-based director Stephen Barlow.
“We’re unique in that respect. This opportunity with Opera Australia takes it to a whole new level and gives our students a genuine foothold in the profession.”
Griffith University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Ian O’Connor AC said the Griffith Opera on the Beach series offered significant benefits to students at the Queensland Conservatorium.
“The Conservatorium hosts Australia’s best opera school and it has extraordinary orchestral students as well,” he said.
Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini AM said the production would provide an “unforgettable experience”.
“It’s an honour to return to Queensland and we’re grateful for the support of Griffith University making this possible.”
Griffith Opera on the Beach runs from September 21-30.