The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Silos to come to life at drive-in show


ilo artwork at Sheep Hills between Warracknab­eal and Minyip will provide a dramatic ‘drive-in’ backdrop for a unique night of musical entertainm­ent later this month.

Rotary Club of Warracknab­eal is revisiting the popular drive-in concept to help pave the way for a major return of live, high-quality entertainm­ent to the region.

The Sheep Hills silos will light up and provide the setting for an October 30 Drive In Opera concert featuring Boolite opera singer Sofia Laursen Habel. Celebrated Australian Opera tenor Michael Lapina is also pencilled in to perform.

The musical performanc­e will be relayed to people through their car radios at the Graincorp site, with technical help and promotion from ACE Radio Broadcaste­rs and the team at radio stations 3WM and MIXX FM and The Weekly Advertiser.

The event will double as an opportunit­y for patrons to experience high-calibre live music and farewell and thank Laursen Habel before she leaves for Denmark in November to further her singing career.

The Rotary club has organised the event to raise money for Warracknab­eal and District Country Education Foundation. It hopes to raise about $5000.

The foundation supports young district people with grants to help them with tertiary studies.

In its third year, the foundation has already provided financial help to almost 10 people in realising their career aspiration­s.

Rotarian Wendy Hewitt said the more money for the foundation, the more Warracknab­eal district youth the club could help.

“Initial plans for such an event involved a live opera performanc­e in a shearing shed with catering,” she said.

“However COVID-19 restrictio­ns put a stop to that. Ideas for an outdoor event were considered, with the final concept of a drive-in at the Sheep Hills silos ticking all the boxes.

“There was a lot of work needed though to prepare for such an event and the Rotary club is very grateful for the incredible and timely support from all partners from Graincorp, which owns the land, and Yarriambia­ck Shire Council, which leases the area.

“The council is working on the drainage and upgrading of the site to enable the best parking space. Graincorp is also helping with the lighting of the silos and upgrading the site.”

To comply with COVID-SAFE regulation­s, patrons will enter the venue using a QR code or manual registrati­on.

They will also obtain informatio­n about receiving sound into their car radios.

“To add to the sparkle of the event, a gourmet grazing box can be pre-ordered to be collected on the night. There will also be some limited light refreshmen­ts available at the venue,” Mrs Hewitt said.

“The number attending will be restricted by car spaces, not people, and we envisage from between 50 and 80 cars will be our limit.

“Already there is a lot of interest in this unique event, so we are expecting tickets will sell quickly.”


ACE Radio Horsham general manager Brendan O’loughlin said the event was a prime example of Wimmera innovation.

“It’s representa­tive of the type of outside-thebox thinking our community organisati­ons are going to have to develop as we venture forth from the pandemic,” he said.

The Saturday drive-in concert will be from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Tickets are $100 a car and will go on sale on Tuesday with more details in coming editions of The Weekly Advertiser, Warracknab­eal Herald and Rotary Club of Warracknab­eal website and Facebook pages.

People keen to find out more can call Mrs Hewitt on 0427 332 193 or club president John Aitken on 0418 103 697.

Laursen Habel grew up 15 kilometres from the Sheep Hills silos and her performanc­e will include music from a variety of genres as she draws on her growing experience­s from musical theatre as well as opera and major production­s.

A passion for her community and making classical music accessible to rural Victoria led to her obtaining a creativity grant from University of Melbourne. She used this grant to curate a 2019 money-raising concert for Wimmera Health Care Group in Horsham, scheduled again on November 14.

Laursen Habel returned to the family farm after graduating from Melbourne Conservato­rium of Music in June, 2020.

Lapina has been a profession­al musical performer since 1988 and has extensivel­y toured Australia and Asia.

Since 2006, he has been engaged with many of Australia’s leading opera houses to perform some of the most coveted tenor roles in the operatic repertoire.

He juggles his profession­al opera career with being performing arts director at Saltwater P-9 College in Point Cook, and is the assistant governor of Rotary Internatio­nal District 9800 in Australia.

 ?? ?? Sofia Laursen Habel
Sofia Laursen Habel

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