Founder and director of the company Bruce Edwards answers some questions about the inception of Underground Opera, and the upcoming Christmas-themed event.
First of all, you used to be a miner and now you're the founder and director of the Underground Opera Company. That's a hilariously nonsensical and yet at the same time perfect career shift. Where did the inspiration for this come from?
It was an interesting career shift! Over ten years ago I was involved with an amateur theatre company, while I was still mining. One day when I was underground, I was practising for a show that was coming up. I thought to myself, wow, it sounds really good down here – wouldn't it be amazing to see a concert underground? Unfortunately the committee of the company I was with did not share my vision, and the decision was made to form a professional company. Underground Opera was born!
Did you have much of a history with performing and opera when you started this?
In a past life I was a drummer – so the interest in music was always there, however, I wasn't really into musicals or opera. It was when I was working in Sydney when I went to see 'Jesus Christ Superstar' and then later 'Les Miserables', which inspired me to get into it and start performing. I've performed with community groups throughout Brisbane and Ipswich, and occasionally have a little bit of a sing with our Underground Opera cast.
You're known for finding unique locations to stage productions in. Why is this important to you?
We want to keep providing our audiences more extraordinary experiences, making the inaccessible space accessible as a performance venue, to continue to be the benchmark provider of unique events.
What has been your favourite part of working with the creative people in Underground Opera?
I get free admission to every concert! Seriously; I love working with our casts. They are world class professionals and excellent performers. It's inspiring to work with people who share the same desire to entertain their audience. It's all about working together to produce an awesome experience in sensational spaces.
What are you looking forward to about 'Carols In The Reservoir'?
The look on our audience members' faces when we make it snow on them!
What do you love about Christmas, and the music that comes with it?
Christmas is always a time for family, and the Christmas songs reminds me of all those Christmas mornings when you were young and the excitement of the festive season.
It's the hottest time of the year for Queensland, but apparently audiences can expect a little bit of a White Christmas at the show. Is that right? How?
We mount half a dozen snow machines in the reservoir's roof! It's not real snow of course, but the effect is absolutely breathtaking! What kind of planning and preparation goes into a show like this? Our cast rehearses for about three months, however, behind the scenes there is around 12 months planning to explore the right programme.
What can audiences expect at 'Carols In The Reservoir'?
They can expect a world class concert of everything from Christmas favourites to beautiful choral style arrangements and of course some sing-alongs. It is the perfect way to celebrate the end of 2016 with friends, family or work colleagues. Like all of our Underground Opera concerts, our goal is to make our audiences laugh, cry and cheer...and 'Carols in the Reservoir' will be no exception!
Describe the show in three words.
Magical, exhilarating, unique.