Now I know you’re supposed to wait until after Melbourne Cup day to say this, but last Saturday’s OperaQ gala fundraising dinner felt to me like the beginning of the festive season. Starting with a lively drinks gathering on the deck outside in the (reasonably) warm night air, dinner in a marquee decorated with lots of sparkles and chandeliers, fabulous performances and great company. Everyone looked gorgeous and quite a few of us ended up breaking out our 70s disco moves courtesy of Dr Toby Gifford, whose day job as a Research Fellow in computational musicology at Griffith University makes him Brisbane’s most overqualified DJ. I’ve never seen a live auctioneer in action, so I was fascinated to watch Dene Tucker giving a masterclass in the art of working the room. It seems to me that like theatre, auctioneering is all about building – and finally releasing – tension and tapping into the psychology of the room. Exciting!
It really was a terrific night and, I’m delighted to report, a great success –in total $38,000 was raised in support of the company through the auction, raffle and subsequent donations. It was great to celebrate the OperaQ 2016 season with some of the stars who will feature in Madama Butterfly, The Barber of Seville and Kiss Me Kate, who all sang beautifully and reminded us why we all love this extraordinary art form, opera. It was also great to mingle with our friends and supporters and to see so many new, enthusiastic faces! Congratulations to everyone who bid for, and won their prizes. A special congratulations to Beverley Smith, the winner of the raffle, and the top bidders for the two big prizes of the evening, Catherine Pearson-Blais, winner of the stunning Margaret Olley print and OperaQ’s Chairman Rob Hubbard claiming the Leipzig Opera/Singapore Airlines Cinderella package. See you in Leipzig on opening night, Rob and Leanne!
And now, it’s on to the silly season! Our next performance will be on the Riverstage at the IGA Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols, featuring OperaQ artists Emily Burke, Bradley Daley, Jason Barry Smith and Katie Stenzel.
Enjoy this glorious weather!