World-class opera and chamber music will take over Jimbour House, marking 20 years of the biennial event.
The 2023 event, the capstone of Queensland Music Trails’ Southern Trail, gives classical connoisseurs a chance to immerse in the stunning Western Downs region, while enjoying some of the state’s finest arts.
This year’s Opera At Jimbour also marks 100 years since the estate was acquired by its current owners, the Russell family. Throughout, there will be 11 distinct concert programmes, and 68 pieces of chamber and opera music. It’ll feature a star-studded line-up of renowned soloists and chamber musicians from Opera Queensland, Ensemble Q, and a 26-piece orchestra from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.
“Opera Queensland is committed to sharing the wonder and joy of opera with regional audiences across Queensland,” Opera Queensland CEO and Artistic Director Patrick Nolan says.
“QMF and Jimbour House over many years have been integral partners in this mission. We look forward to continuing this relationship in 2023 and collaborating with Ensemble Q to immerse audiences in a programme of opera and fine music making in and around the majesty and beauty of this unique location.”
Jimbour House’s open-sky stage has hosted world-class performers like Deborah Humble, Sarah Macliver, Natalie Peluso, and Bradley Daley. Jimbour House, originally constructed by Sir Joshua Peter Bell, was purchased by the Russell family 100 years ago in 1923. This year’s event will including breathtaking Gala events on the Eastern lawn, chamber music under the twinkling lights of the hold plane hangar, intimate recitals inside the Drawing Room, and tours through the halls of the historic Jimbour House.
Image © Mitch Lowe
An original composition from Daniel De Borah, Lotte Betts-Dean, Carlos Barcenas, Hayley Sugars and Paul Dean titled ‘Australian Song’ will make its world premiere. And the Eastern Lawn Gala stage will come to life with two spectacular programmes plus late 18th and 19th century opera classics: excerpts from ‘The Elixir Of Love’ and ‘Don Giovanni’, plus music from Mozart, Rossini and Donizetti.
The all too familiar melodies of Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’, Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Piano Sonata’ Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Copland’s ‘Appalachian Spring’ will reverberate through the grounds too.
“We are so delighted to be given the opportunity to bring Ensemble Q to Opera at Jimbour and curate a programme of chamber music concerts in the incredible atmosphere and acoustics of the Hangar and Jimbour House,” Ensemble Q Co-Artistic Director Trish Dean says. “We have designed the programme to complement the already highly popular Opera At Jimbour, to celebrate the stunning location and to take Queensland Music Trails on a musical journey like no other.”
Welcome To Country and First Nations storytelling will be brought to the homestead by Shannon Bauwens, an experienced cultural heritage practitioner and tribal custodian of the Wakka Wakka. He has a deep connection to the property and a direct descendent of Harry Bound Darlow, an Aboriginal stockman who had a close relationship with the Bell family.
Check out the Queensland Music Trails line-up.
Opera At Jimbour takes place at Jimbour House (Western Downs, Queensland) from 5-7 May.