Egyptian oasis comes to life in Coolangatta
THE rise and fall of kingdoms through a royal love triangle will play out in operatic wonder when Australia’s new production of Griffith Opera on the Beach, Aida, hits the Coolangatta dunes.
An ambitious transformation of the Coolangatta foreshore into an Egyptian oasis is in full swing, with two 7.6m-high pharaohs being lowered in today to place the final touches on a visual wonder more than three years in the making.
Carved out of large blocks of polystyrene in Sydney, it took two specialist sculptors and a team of welders, carpenters and scenic artists 240 hours to make the impressive statues, which were transported to the Gold Coast in a 40ft shipping container.
Executive producer Louisa Robertson said the 11-day transformation of the beach location selected back in 2014 would be a sight to behold.
“It’s a casual event and the aim is to make opera more accessible. There’s no better way to do that than on the beach, and it will be a very exciting experience,” Robertson said.
Opening on September 21, Aida will come alive on a purpose-built seaside stage, with a huge cast and orchestra and featuring fireworks of the vocal and exploding kind.
Performed in Italian to Verdi’s famous music, a host of Australia’s finest singers, including Natalie Aroyan, Michael Honeyman, Milijana Nikolic and David Parkin, will perform alongside the Opera Australia Community Choir.
The production will also have a unique local twist, with Gold Coast surf lifesavers set to be part of the show.
While setting up on a beach location presents various challenges, with sand, wind and tides a factor, Robertson said unique outdoor aspects would provide viewers with an experience unlike any other.
“If you’re not an opera fan, you’ll still get a lot out of it as the environment makes the show,” she said.
“It’s not just about the opera. You can grab a drink and some food and sit on the beach with amazing views
and enjoy fireworks, fantastic singing, dancing, and a great story as well.
“It allows you to be really immersed in the production. You can also dig your toes into the sand, which you can’t do at the opera in a theatre.”
While premium reserve tickets have already sold out for all six performances, a range of A, B, and C Reserve tickets are still available.
EGYPTIAN NIGHTS: Griffith Opera on the Beach, Aida, will transform the Coolangatta foreshore into an Egyptian oasis.