Talented locals steal the limelight as OperaQ’s La Bohème tours regional Queensland.

Nearly 400 ordinary Australians have been chosen to be performers in Opera Queensland’s latest production of La Bohème. The singers, who were chosen from 800 initial applicants, will join forces with OperaQ’s principal members and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra as part of Project Puccini, Australia’s biggest regional performing arts initiative.

The talented locals look likely to steal the limelight when the fully staged production tours through regional Queensland in August. At each destination, a diverse cross-section of the Australian community will make up the opera chorus – from a WWII veteran, Member of Parliament Rob Katter, and a sparky who has never sung before. Lindy Hume, Artistic Director of Opera Queensland said the initiative was spawned from a lack of engagement between arts organisations and regional audiences.

“The idea came when my General Manager Russell Mitchell and I went out on tour with The Mikado. It was a great little show and everyone who came had a great time, but we just didn’t seem to be making a big impact in terms of getting people through the door,” said Hume. “It just seemed to me that regional Australia...

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