Opera At Jimbour To Return For 20th Anniversary Event

20 March 2023 | 11:03 am | Emma Whines

Opera at Jimbour will return to the stunning Jimbour House from May 5 to 7 with world-class opera and chamber music.

Photo Credit: Mitch Lowe

Photo Credit: Mitch Lowe

Since its inaugural year in 2003, Opera at Jimbour has been an institution in the rural community of the Western Downs. The event returns in 2023 to celebrate its 20th anniversary, boasting its most extensive program yet. 

Presented by QMF, the capstone event of Qld Music Trails’ Southern Trail, Opera at Jimbour, will return to the stunning Jimbour House for three days, May 5 to 7, of world-class opera and chamber music. 

Set to host a positively Allargando program, revered ensembles including Opera Queensland, Ensemble Q and a 26-piece Orchestra from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University will perform 11 distinct concert programs with over 16 hours across 68 pieces of chamber and opera music. 

In addition to the ensembles, beloved solo artists Daniel De Borah, Lotte Betts-Dean, Carlos Barcenas, Hayley Sugars, and Paul Dean will also perform.

Opera Queensland CEO & Artistic Director Patrick Nolan reflects on the long-standing event saying,

"Opera Queensland is committed to sharing the wonder and joy of opera with regional audiences across Queensland. 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 program of opera and fine music making in and around the majesty and beauty of this unique location.” 

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Ensemble Q Co-Artistic Director Trish Dean agrees, stating, “We are so delighted to be given the opportunity to bring Ensemble Q to Opera at Jimbour and curate a program of chamber music concerts in the incredible atmosphere and acoustics of the Hangar and Jimbour House. We have designed the program 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.“ 

Since its first performance two decades ago, Jimbour House has hosted world-class performers like Deborah Humble, Sarah Macliver, Natalie Peluso, and Bradley Daley. In 2011, the largest Opera at Jimbour ensemble in history filled the stage with a 180-piece combined choir and orchestra. Two years later, a massive storm ensured the muddiest year in the concert’s history, while 2017 drew the most patrons of all, with 10,000 visitors in a day.

This year’s event at the famed Jimbour House will include breathtaking Gala events on the Eastern lawn, exquisite chamber music under the twinkling lights of the old plane Hanger, intimate recitals inside the opulent Drawing Room, and exclusive tours through the halls of the historic Jimbour House as it comes to life with the sounds of Australia’s most elite performers. Attendees can expect to hear 18th and early 19th-century opera classics, including excerpts from The Elixir of Love and Don Giovanni and music of Mozart, Rossini and Donizetti. As well as the all too familiar melodies of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Beethoven’s Moonlight Piano Sonata, Barber’s haunting Adagio for Strings and Copland’s Appalachian Spring. 

Trail goers are also encouraged to delve into the rich history and community of the Western Downs area by savouring the local produce or camping on the local grounds. 

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said Opera at Jimbour offers a unique opportunity to showcase the region as a destination of choice.  

"The Western Downs is bursting with rich experiences that tell the story of who we are, and the fabulous region we choose to call home," Cr McVeigh said. 

"This magnificent event allows us to come together and experience the sensational craft of Opera music, while offering a wider opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in our vibrant and welcoming community.

"We are delighted to see this world-class event return in 2023, and I look forward to celebrating all the great things on offer here on the Western Downs."

Find out more about the event and purchase tickets here