It's not over 'till Fat Lady sings
ORGANISERS of the annual Opera at The Channon charity fundraiser fear for the future of the event with ticket sales so far this year falling well short of expectations.
To date only 150 tickets have been sold for the traditional silver service opera luncheon, as well as a further 150 picnic and opera tickets which, according to event spokesman Geoff Cawley, is barely enough to break even and not enough to ensure a decent donation to the Westpac Helicopter Rescue service and Our Kids - two charities which would benefit from this year's event.
The event has raised more than $150,000 for local charities in the past 14 years.
“It's all rather sad because for 14 years Opera at The Channon has enlivened the local social and cultural scene,” Mr Cawley said.
“Normally, the luncheon sells out within two weeks but this year we are down by about 100 on (the luncheon), and we are down on the numbers for opera only.”
Mr Cawley blames tight family budgets and poor recent weather for the lacklustre ticket sales, but also wonders whether audiences still want the event.
“Having seen the demise of ABC Concerts and most recently the Musica Viva Lismore concert, is the idea of bringing live cultural events to the Northern Rivers region just not financially viable, or is it that local people just do not want this sort of event?” he asked.
Opera at The Channon will this year again feature enthusiastic performers from the Opera Queensland young artists program in the open air but sheltered setting of Coronation Park at The Channon.
In the event of wet weather, the event will be moved to the Lismore City Hall.“These young people are on the cusp of their careers and they give their all – they are just wonderful,” Mr Cawley said.
“If the region wants Opera at The Channon to continue, book now while there is still time.”
Opera at The Channon
10.30am to 4.30pm, Sunday, July 24.
Coronation Park, The Channon.
Opera and luncheon $140.
Opera only $55.
Hampers from $38, or bring your own.
Tickets from NORPA on 1300 066 772 or www.norpa.org.au.
More information www.operaatthechannon.com.au
Featured artist- Sam Hartley
One of five artists scheduled to perform at Opera at The Channon.
Queensland conservatorium graduate 2001.
Starred or understudied for Opera Queensland in: The Sound Garden, Hansel and Gretel, The Merry Widow, La traviata and Rigoletto.
Will perform numbers from: Don Giovanni, Carmen, The Pirates of Penzance, and Porgy and Bess.
Will soon star in the Opera Queensland production of Tosca.