Opera Gala Under the Stars
June’s Opera Gala Under the Stars saw the Charles Darwin University Soundshell overflowing with an audience transfixed by some of the world’s favourite arias. In Darwin to perform were Australia’s answer to Pavarotti, Rosario La Spina, and Antoinette Halloran, one of the country’s most accomplished sopranos. Local star Fiona Wake made a special appearance and joined Antoinette on stage for the famous Flower Duet.
A former bricklayer, Rosario rediscovered his voice after a workplace accident forced him to rethink his career. The decision to return to his childhood hobby turned out to be a good one, with intensive study leading to international awards, coveted roles and a place as one of Australia’s leading tenors.
Antoinette has performed many of opera’s most famous roles, including the title role in Madama Butterfly and Mimi in La bohème. She is also becoming widely known to audiences outside of opera thanks to regular appearances on ABC TV’s Spicks and Specks.
DSO Artistic Director, Dr Leif Sundstrup promised audiences they would melt in their seats, opera buff or not. “The combination of leading Australian soloists, famous arias, the Darwin Symphony and the Darwin Chorale made for an enchanting evening,” said Sundstrup. “If you didn't understand the language, all the better—the music spoke for itself”.