What’s On: Are You Lonesome Tonight (Opera Queensland)

Are You Lonesome Tonight

Opera Queensland Regional Tour

4 May – 25 June

Regional locations (see full list below)

Opera Queensland has partnered with Beef Australia to premiere its genre-crossing new production, Are You  Lonesome Tonight, in almost 30 regional and remote Queensland communities through May and June. The seven-week season traverses more than 7000km, making it the most significant regional tour in the company’s  history and a fitting centrepiece to Opera Queensland’s 40th birthday celebrations. 

Rockhampton will host the world premiere of the cabaret-style production that explores the extraordinary qualities and  surprising similarities of Opera and Country music on Tuesday 4 May as part of Beef Australia 2021, a triennial  celebration of the nation’s cattle industry. Under the partnership, Opera Queensland becomes Beef Australia 2021’s artistic company-in-residence, entertaining visitors and delegates with a series of recitals, pop-up performances, community engagements and activations from 2  – 8 May. 

Are You Lonesome Tonight weaves a story about life on the road through arias by composers such as Puccini and  Verdi and songs by Slim Dusty and Dolly Parton. It bursts onto the Rockhampton Showgrounds stage backed by a 70-member Beef Australia Community Chorus comprising amateur singers from the Rockhampton region and a guest performance from country music superstar and 21-times Golden Guitar winner Sara Storer. 

Photographed by Jade Ferguson

Opera Queensland Director of Learning, Regional and Community Mark Taylor said the company planned to  celebrate its 40th birthday by engaging with audiences across Queensland and providing arts, culture and education  opportunities to more people in more locations. 

“Opera Queensland’s partnership with Beef Australia sprang from our shared belief in the importance of delivering  culture, entertainment and joy across regional Queensland, particularly following such a profound period of drought,”  Mr Taylor said. “Pairing Opera and Country music is not a gimmick; the two genres have a great deal in common. Artists, composers and librettists across both artforms understand the power of storytelling sharing many common themes of profound love, heartache, and triumph in the face of adversity. It’s said country music is about lovin’, fightin’, drinkin’ and cussin’ and aside from the cussin’, that nicely sums up  opera too.” 

Are You Lonesome Tonight will eschew traditional theatres and halls to perform in some of Queensland’s most iconic  locations including the Roma Saleyards, the Australian Stockmans Hall of Fame in Longreach, Winton’s Waltzing  Matilda Centre and from the try-line of Townsville’s new 25,000-capacity Queensland Country Bank Stadium. 

“This show is designed to be experienced outdoors, whether that’s under stars in the state’s Central West, by the  ocean on The Whitsundays coastline or in the wetlands of tropical North Queensland,” Mr Taylor said. “Come in your jeans and boots or your tuxedos and ballgowns – this is opera at its most diverse, accessible and  exciting.” 

Are You Lonesome Tonight’s regional tour also includes a community engagement program with customised events  and activities planned for each location. Community engagement initiatives include school workshops, community choir events, recitals in aged care facilities  and pop-up performances and activations in unexpected locations. 

Mr Taylor said these events allowed Opera Queensland to engage deeply with the communities it has such a strong  connection with while also discovering new audiences. 

For ticketing and further information, visit the Opera Queensland website

To apply for the Beef Australia Community Chorus (Rockhampton performance only), click here

Are You Lonesome Tonight Tour Dates 

Rockhampton Tuesday 4 May 

Bowen Friday 7 May 

Charters Towers Saturday 8 May 

Cairns Tuesday 11 May 

Innisfail Wednesday 12 May 

Ingham Thursday 13 May 

Townsville Friday 14 May 

Mount Isa Tuesday 18 May 

Winton Thursday 20 May 

Longreach Sunday 23 May 

Barcaldine Monday 24 May 

Blackall Tuesday 25 May 

Windorah Thursday 27 May 

Quilpie Saturday 29 May 

Charleville Sunday 30 May 

Cunnamulla Monday 31 May 

St George Tuesday 1 June 

Warwick Friday 4 June 

Stanthorpe Saturday 5 June 

Redlands Sunday 6 June 

Toowoomba Wednesday 9 June 

Beaudesert Thursday 10 June

Caloundra Saturday 12 June

Maryborough Wednesday 16 June

Bundaberg Thursday 17 June

Gold Coast Saturday 19 June

Redcliffe Wednesday 23 June

Roma Friday 25 June

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