Opera is a calling for some
FOR Deborah Rogers, a career in the opera chose her, she didn’t choose it.
As a student at the University of Southern Queensland, Rogers thought she had her career mapped out in musical theatre. But after a slight push from one of her teachers she found a love for the “musical intelligence” of opera.
“I started out playing instruments so I really needed more in my repertoire than what I was getting from musical theatre,” Rogers says. “Don’t get me wrong, I still love my musical theatre but, there is just so much more to opera that I fell in love with.”
It was the deeper level of the music she found she needed in her life.
And that’s exactly what you’ll find on Sunday at Opera at The Channon, the intelligence of the opera.
Her career as an opera singer has also led down what she thought were unlikely paths, including a slot alongside Michael Buble when he toured in 2008.
“That was possibly one of the most incredible experiences of my life,” Rogers says.
When they weren’t on stage they did “hang-out” says Rogers and the ping pong challenge was high on the list of pastimes for Buble and his band.
Rogers, a mezzo-soprano who was born and bred in Brisbane, says she fears for the future of the art form, because of the notion it is “high art” and inaccessible.
“There’s also a fear of not understanding what’s going on because of language,” she says.
Those problems are overcome now with translations right in front of you on screens in most cases.
But as for this weekend at Coronation Park at The Channon, Rogers says the first half of the performance by members of Opera Queensland’s Young Artist Program will be in the original languages.
The second half, which is more focused on musical theatre, will be in English.
“It will be up to our esteemed acting to get the message across in the first half,” she says.
On the whole however, events like the one at The Channon are bridging the gap when it comes to the continuation of the genre.
There are individual arias as well as the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin providing a wide mix.
It’s not only old favourites though, says Rogers, “there are a few songs that no one will have heard which are just stunning.”
This is the 15th year of the event which sees both opera buffs and those who are not opera buffs enjoying a day of food and music, hopefully in the sun.
Opera at The Channon is on this Sunday with lunch starting at 11.30am and music from 1.30pm. Tickets from $55-$140.
Proceeds from the event are donated to the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter and Our Kids.