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Opera at Jimbour, returns to its home in Western Downs


Pictured: MC Jason Barry-Smith


After the world battled with a global pandemic, one of Australia’s top heritage events, Opera at Jimbour, returns to its home in Western Downs for a weekend of opera, chamber music and food and wine from June 25 - 27. Set in the grounds of Jimbour House, Opera at Jimbour will once again come to life with performances by some of Queensland’s most sought after performers and critically acclaimed names. In 2021, for the first time in the event's history, Jimbour House will be opening its doors to the estate and debuting a new format with performances taking place within the house and the grounds. Featuring some of Australia's foremost musicians from Opera Queensland and Ensemble Q, Opera at Jimbour 2021 welcomes internationally renowned violinist Natsuko Yoshimoto, and the co-directors of Ensemble Q, cellist Trish Dean and clarinetist Paul Dean who will be joined by an orchestra of chamber musicians from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University led by Dane Lam. The event also showcases bass Jud Arthur, baritone José Carbó, soprano Rebecca Cassidy, tenor Bradley Daley, soprano Eva Kong, tenor Rosario La Spina and mezzo-soprano Hayley Sugars along with Jason Barry-Smith as MC and pianist John Woods. The programs have been created by Jason Barry-Smith and Paul Dean. The singers and orchestra for the Gala programs will be led by Opera Queensland’s 2021 Resident Conductor and Associate Music Director Dane Lam. Now part of the newly unveiled Queensland Music Trail, Opera at Jimbour includes two Gala events on Saturday and Sunday, a Hangar Concert under the twinkling lights featuring chamber music, a recital inside the Drawing Room and tours through the halls of the historic Jimbour Homestead. This revamped version of the event invites guests to savour local produce, browse crafts by local artisans and sample bubbly beverages at the Jimbour markets. Guests can even camp on the grounds and enjoy a tasty meal at the camp kitchen. Locals from all over can pop in and enjoy the Jimbour markets for free, too!

“With international borders closed, everyone in Australia is looking for a one-of-a-kind experience in their own backyard,” said QMF CEO Joel Edmondson. “The events along the first ever Outback Music Trail are a new way to get to know the diverse people and places of Outback Queensland. Nothing makes memories like seeing something totally amazing in a place you would never expect. We couldn’t be happier to kickstart the very first trail in the beautiful surroundings of the Western Downs.” The Outback Trail officially gets going on Friday 25 June to Sunday 27 June.

From Tuesday 29 until Wednesday 30 June Charleville, once the secret home of more than 3000 US troops during the war, will come to life as Kate Miller-Heidke and Kalkadunga artist William Barton deliver ‘Music For Stargazing’, a concert inspired by astrological arrangements, aboriginal navigation and traditional stories of Charleville. The bespoke chamber concert - produced exclusively for Queensland Music Trails - will feature the world-premiere of the new commission by William Barton, with Kate Miller-Heidke, Véronique Serret, Vanessa Tomlinson, Jessica Hitchcock, Keir Nuttall, Sam Pankhurst and widely recognised Dreamtime opera diva Aunty Delmae Barton

After a small jaunt west through the red sandy plains of the Mariala National Park, it’s over to the remote town of Quilpie, for ‘Echoes In the Dust’ on Thursday 1 and Friday 2 July. Here the Baldy Top lookout provides the backdrop to an immersive visual theatre and musical experience. Soundscapes from Topology and giant dinosaur puppets from Dead Puppet Society will transport visitors to ancient times in this one-of-a-kind . Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 July welcome a series of outback performances from Karl S. Williams, Emily Wurramara, Hussy Hicks and a line-up of local artists and poets in Windorah park. The final week comes to a dramatic conclusion, with Paul Kelly, Ian Moss, Tim Finn, Shannon Noll and countless others taking to the stage over three days at the Big Red Bash. Opera at Jimbour is a Queensland Music Trails event presented by QMF, Western Downs Regional Council, Opera Queensland and Jimbour Events, and supported by Veracity, CS Energy, Griffith University, Evie Networks, Empire Theatres Toowoomba, and the Trevor and Judith St Baker Family Foundation. Opera at Jimbour is supported by the Australian Government through the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund, and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland’s Spaces and Places Activation fund. The event is also supported by Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar. For more information on the Outback Trail or to sign up for more information on the other unique Queensland Music Trails road trips available, visit the Queensland Music Trails website at www.qldmusictrails.com