Some big stars are coming to Parkes to perform under the stars at the first major event to be staged at the new Cooke Park Pavilion in a celebration of musical theatre and operetta in April next year.
Called Overture, the event will be headlined by Lucy Durack and Josh Piterman. Lucy is one of Australia’s leading stars of the stage and screen and played Glinda in the Australian production of Wicked. Josh has graced the stage in lead roles in both Australia and the West End, and he is starring as The Phantom in the upcoming Op-era Australia production of The Phantom of the Opera at the Sydney Opera House.
Lucy and Josh will be supported by two secondary headline performers, to be announced soon, along with local and regional talent as they perform well known songs the audience can sing along to. The program will be similar to the famous BBC Last Night of the Proms events.
There will be some very exciting opportunities for local soloists, and auditions will be announced shortly for primary and high school students to audition online.
“We are thrilled to be hosting such a prestigious event under the beautiful night sky of Parkes at the brand-new Cooke Park Pavilion,” said Parkes Shire Deputy Mayor Cr Barbara Newton.
Overture will not only bring some of the best voices in Australia to regional NSW, but it will also give local chorists and school students the opportunity to work and perform alongside them.
Music Director Nicholas Gentile will be conducting a 40-piece orchestra made up of professional and student musicians, and a mass choir of 150 choristers, featuring public school choirs and adult choirs from across the Central West, including the Parkes Community Choir.
UpStage Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to create links between metropolitan and regional young artists, have partnered with Parkes Shire Council to deliver the concert, as well as bring a series of workshops, classes and seminars.
“In the lead up to Overture, we will bring out some of the country’s top tutors and professionals in singing, drama, music and dance to facilitate classes and workshops,” said UpStage Australia Director Jessica Westcott. “We encourage anyone who has a creative bone in their body to use this as an opportunity to upskill, discover and be inspired.
“We’re so thrilled to be creating an opportunity to showcase some of the Central West’s incredible young talent as often there are fewer opportunities for regional children to get the kind of experiences their Sydney peers might have. Overture is an exciting opportunity for regional youth and musicians to appear on stage with the likes of Lucy Durack and Josh Piterman,” said Jessica.
Event proceeds will support a number of community initiatives, including the McGrath Foundation and UpStage Australia to foster continuing arts development.
Overture tickets will be on sale in November. For more information and to purchase tickets, head to www.visitparkes.com.au.