Sunday, July 26, 2009

The day we went to Jimbour

"Didn't we have a luverly time, the day we went to Jimbour....."

Every two years the Queensland Music Festival sponsors Opera at Jimbour House. Our rellies in Brisbane have been raving about it for a few years so this year the Davis clan made the trip from Bundaberg to Jimbour (a dot on the map outside Dalby) to join in the fun. The attractions this year were the Noonan family, Barry Otto as compere and Guy Noble conducting the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra.

So, being an event called "Opera at Jimbour House" I was sort of expecting there to be more opera and less say, "singles from my next album" and ABBA. Not being a fan of Katie Noonan or george, the band she and brother Tyrone formed, I could have done with less of their jazz, classic, pop fusion in spite of her very pretty voice, and their songwriting skills. In terms of opera we got opera-lite - the letter duet from the Marriage of Figaro, the famous Lakme duet by Delibes, and then Nella Fantasia and Time to Say Goodbye which are essentially pop songs sung in Italian. Nice, but nothing to write home about. Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman are the ones to listen hear. Mother Maggie Noonan clearly has a well trained opera voice but is perhaps past the age at which she should be singing Madame Butterfly and I felt she was a bit "pitchy" (as we say in the trade) at times and the top register a little thin. Father Brian clearly could sing well once, but as Barry Otto kindly explained, he has been suffering ill-health. Indeed, he seemed very debilitated and while it was obviously nice for them to all sing together on stage, this wasn't really what I had expected to hear. The orchestra however, was very professional and their medley from West Side Story which started the second half was lovely.

Still, it was a beautiful venue for an outdoor concert, the weather was sunny and quite warm. Thank goodness I took my hat. We ate strawberries, carrot cake and drank cups of tea. There were plenty of people indulging in wine. They might have been sorry when they left and the breathalysers were on the prowl on the highway back into Dalby.

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