Griffith unveils musical masterpiece for Bleach* Festival

The centrepiece of the Bleach* Festival will be a blockbuster outdoor performance of Verdi’s Requiem, featuring students and alumni from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.

Talented musicians from the Queensland Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra will accompany a full cast from Opera Queensland for the spectacular concert under the stars at the Home of the Arts (HOTA) on 27 April.

Bachelor of Music student, trumpeter Michael Whitaker, said it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“It’s going to be an incredible spectacular,” he said.

“Being part of a performance like this is not something we get the chance to do every day, and it’s testament to everyone’s love and passion for the music that we’re willing to put in the hard yards to pull off such an amazing and difficult work.”

Bachelor of Music classical voice student and Gold Coast native Sara Donnelly will be part of the 60-strong chorus, giving her the opportunity to work alongside professional singers from Opera Queensland.

The performance will see her follow in the footsteps of her father, a professional opera singer.

“It’s a massive work and it feels incredible to be one of the few students asked to collaborate with Opera Queensland,” she said.

“It gives us an insight into what it’s like to work professionally with an opera company, and gives us a foot in the door after we graduate.”

Queensland Conservatorium alumnus Rosario La Spina will return to work with current students, taking on a starring role as one of the featured soloists. After studying classical voice at the Queensland Conservatorium, the former bricklayer won a scholarship to the Royal Northern College of Music in the UK and later, won a spot in the renowned Young Artists Programme at La Scala.

“It’s amazing to come full circle and come back to work with students from the Con,” he said.

“This work is a masterpiece, and I think the audience is in for a real treat”.

Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Scott Harrison said the partnership would give orchestral students a chance to be part of a high-profile professional production.

“For students to be an integral part of the Bleach Festival and the Gold Coast musical ecosystem is incredibly important,” he said.

Bleach* Festival has attracted more than 470,000 people since 2012. The program features work across all genres including dance, theatre, contemporary music, opera, installations, circus and major public events.

The full program is available on the Bleach* Festival website.

Tickets for Verdi’s Requiem are on sale at