The artistic director, Lyndon Terracini , and cast of Opera Australia Schools Touring company (Andy Moran, Danita Weatherstone, Antonio Fernandez, Lyndon Terracini, Ruth Strutt, Shoumendu Schornikow) perform El Kid for the students of Albert Park Public School in Lismore. Back Row: Treshaun Roberts, Sophie Jones, Murron McGregor-Shaw and Shaniquea Roberts-Welsh.
The artistic director, Lyndon Terracini , and cast of Opera Australia Schools Touring company (Andy Moran, Danita Weatherstone, Antonio Fernandez, Lyndon Terracini, Ruth Strutt, Shoumendu Schornikow) perform El Kid for the students of Albert Park Public School in Lismore. Back Row: Treshaun Roberts, Sophie Jones, Murron McGregor-Shaw and Shaniquea Roberts-Welsh. Peter Derrett

Opera man returns to Lismore to educate young

LYNDON Terracini AM says he could not be the artistic director of one of Australia's most illustrious arts organisations if it wasn't for his time at the helm of NORPA.

This week the creative head of Opera Australia returned to where it all began to give Lismore's school children the benefit of his connections and experience.

He watched the children of Albert Park Public School as they delighted in Opera Australia's School's version of El Kid, and was reminded of the time when his own two daughters attended the small primary school in the city's East.

Mr Terracini first came to Lismore in 1988 'on doctor's instructions'. He and his family had been living in Italy where he had been enjoying a highly successful international career as an opera singer but, it was 'a matter of my wife finding somewhere warm and humid to live or have a lung out', said Mr Terracini.

The move marked the beginning of 'a very happy time' when the couple became involved with a group who came together to create a performing arts scene in Lismore.

NORPA was soon born "changing the perception of how a performing arts company can play a part in regional Australia,” said Mr Terracini.

As a way of giving back, and because of 'my association with the city', Mr Terracini decided Lismore should be the place to launch Opera Australia's 2017 Schools Tour.

He thought Albert Park would be a great setting for El Kid. It is the first time the tour, which plays to over 70 000 children a year, has kicked off in regional Australia.

He introduced El Kid - a remake of the classic fable Billy Goat's Gruff to the score of of Opera classic, Carmen, with a reminiscence of the goats he used to keep while living in Lismore Heights.

Opera Australia's schools' Tour was a great way of inspiring potential Opera Australia stars of the future, he said, as well as exposing Australian children to this high art form.

Mostly, however, the tours were about 'teaching good social behaviour'.

"Billy Goat's Gruff is about bullying. It is really important to address these issues to teach children how to be better human beings,” said Mr Terracini.

Mr Terracini joined Opera Australia in 2011 and was was recognised with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2014.



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