Mad Margaret

Ruddigore, or the Witch’s Curse!

After scouring the state for undiscovered voices, 10 local men and 11 local women have been selected to live out their dream and perform alongside the country’s most talented singers in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ruddigore, or the Witch’s Curse!, as part of Opera Queensland’s 2018 community initiative Project G&S.

The 21 successful Cairns locals will now take part in a free professional training program over eight weeks to hone their singing, dancing and stagecraft skills with local chorus masters and Assistant Director Sean Andrews, before taking to the Tanks Arts Centre stage to sing in the chorus of Ruddigore, or the Witch’s Curse!, on Saturday 18 August.

The Opera Queensland team have travelled more than 8,000 km across Queensland this year to conduct auditions in six regional communities – Gold Coast, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns and Toowoomba.

Opera Queensland’s Head of Learning, Regional and Community, Mark Taylor said the past two community projects – Project Rossini and Project Puccini – transformed the lives of hundreds of Queenslanders.

“We run workshops, performances and educational programs across the state and I am always blown away by the talent,” said Mr Taylor.

“This year’s choruses are made up of individuals from vast backgrounds; from a Marine Animal Trainer at Sea World on the Gold Coast, to speech pathologists, motorbike-riding psychologists, teachers and environmental activists.

“Ruddigore, or the Witch’s Curse! will see chorus ladies frocked up as bridesmaids and gentlemen donning cricket whites singing alongside the impressive cast, including Bryan Probets, Christine Johnston, Natalie Christie Peluso and Helpmann Award winner Kanen Breen. It is going to be a performance and experience not to be missed.”

Ruddigore, or the Witch’s Curse! enjoyed a successful Brisbane season in 2017, telling the story of the shy and law-abiding, gentleman farmer Robin Oakapple who works up the courage to ask the beautiful Rose Maybud to marry him. But, he has a dark secret; he is the heir to a terrible curse befalling all Baronets of Ruddigore and has been living in disguise to escape his fate. When the truth is discovered, Robin is bound to obey the family curse that dictates he must commit a dastardly crime every day – or face a torturous death.

Charming musical gems such as the ‘Matter’ trio and Rose’s ‘Etiquette’ song will dazzle, and Opera Queensland’s acclaimed production reveals Gilbert & Sullivan in a way never seen before.

Regional Queensland can expect some delicious Pythonesque surprises, crazy larger than life characters, uninhibited villainy, the living dead and a haunted castle.

Project G&S is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland’s Playing Queensland Fund.

NQ Performances will be:-

Cairns – Saturday 18 August Tanks Arts Centre
Mackay: Saturday 11 August at Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre
Townsville: Wednesday 15 August Townsville Civic Theatre

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