Opera in the Reservoir- until November 29!

Opera in the Reservoir has opened at the Spring Hill Reservoir, Wickham Terrace, Brisbane and runs until November 29  with just 16 stunning shows. More information here, including cast profiles  and how to get there!  

A program of popular Opera arias, duets and ensemble pieces will be interwoven by some Musical Theatre greats.  Laugh with our MC, cry to ‘Boheme and cheer with the Toreadore!  This is a show not to miss!  Stay tuned to the website for updates on the program, the cast and new events.

Book you tickets HERE!_MRP6713

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Mr Glenn Lorimer
Mr Glenn Lorimer


Opera in the Caves Rockhampton

Opera in the Caves Rockhampton on sale NOW!!

The Underground Opera Company presents- “Opera in the Caves” with Glenn Lorimer, Darian Johns, Louise Dorsman, Judit Molnar and your host Bruce Edwards.

“Opera in the Caves” is a concert of popular Opera with a dash of musical theatre showstoppers. Laugh to The Marriage of Figaro, cry to Pagliacci and cheer to Les Misérables . The list goes on! Prepare for a night of incredible performances from World Class Australian artists in a relaxed, intimate environment.

Don’t miss these sell-out performances! Simply click the Ticketmaster logo to book your experience.

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A message to our members outside of Rockhampton.

As you know Rockhampton was severely impacted by Cyclone Marcia recently.  Whilst it make us feel nice to donate to a cyclone relief charity we can maybe help a bit more effectively by visiting Rockhampton.  Your tourist dollars are worth more than just a charity handout.  Jump on a plane, train or automobile and make your way to Rockhampton, Queensland.  We have wonderful accommodation partners in the Denison Boutique Hotel (a short cab ride from the airport or train station).  You can prepare for the weekend in your luxury room with four poster bed and large  personal spa bath before feasting on your complimentary breakfast.  The Capricorn Coast is then at your doorstep with some very interesting places to explore inland as well.  Rockhampton is the beef capital of Australia so don’t forget to grab a steak across the road at The Great Western Hotel!

Contact us for our premium show package which will include all travel, accommodation, meals and of course reserved seats to Opera in the Caves!  Contact Bruce on M. 0429 536 472

 Let’s help get Rocky back on its feet!

The history of Christmas carols

Carols were first sung in Europe thousands of years ago, but these were not Christmas Carols. They were pagan songs, sung at the Winter Solstice celebrations as people danced round stone circles (The word carol originally meant to dance to something). The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, usually taking place around the 22nd December. The word Carol actually means dance or a song of praise and joy! Carols used to be written and sung during all four seasons, but only the tradition of singing them at Christmas has really survived.

Early Christians took over the pagan solstice celebrations for Christmas and gave people Christian songs to sing instead of pagan ones. In AD 129, a Roman Bishop said that a song called “Angel’s Hymn” should be sung at a Christmas service in Rome. Another famous early Christmas Hymn was written in 760AD, by Comas of Jerusalem, for the Greek Orthodox Church. Soon after this many composers all over Europe started to write ‘Christmas carols’. However, not many people liked them as they were all written and sung in Latin, a language that the normal people couldn’t understand. By the time of the Middles Ages (the 1200s), most people had lost interest in celebrating Christmas altogether.

This was changed by St. Francis of Assisi when, in 1223, he started his Nativity Plays in Italy. The people in the plays sang songs or ‘canticles’ that told the story during the plays. Sometimes, the choruses of these new carols were in Latin; but normally they were all in a language that the people watching the play could understand and join in! The new carols spread to France, Spain, Germany and other European countries.

The earliest carol, like this, was written in 1410. Sadly only a very small fragment of it still exists. The carol was about Mary and Jesus meeting different people in Bethlehem. Most Carols from this time and the Elizabethan period are untrue stories, very loosely based on the Christmas story, about the holy family and were seen as entertaining rather than religious songs. They were usually sung in homes rather than in churches! Traveling singers or Minstrels started singing these carols and the words were changed for the local people wherever they were traveling. One carols that changed like this is ‘I Saw Three Ships’.

Etching of old Caroling Singing Men from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Koledniki-valvasor.jpg

When Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans came to power in England in 1647, the celebration of Christmas and singing carols was stopped. However, the carols survived as people still sang them in secret. Carols remained mainly unsung until Victorian times, when two men called William Sandys and Davis Gilbert collected lots of old Christmas music from villages in England.

Before carol singing in public became popular, there were sometimes official carol singers called ‘Waits’. These were bands of people led by important local leaders (such as council leaders) who had the only power in the towns and villages to take money from the public (if others did this, they were sometimes charged as beggars!). They were called ‘Waits’ because they only sang on Christmas Eve (This was sometimes known as ‘watchnight’ or ‘waitnight’ because of the shepherds were watching their sheep when the angels appeared to them.), when the Christmas celebrations began.

Also, at this time, many orchestras and choirs were being set up in the cities of England and people wanted Christmas songs to sing, so carols once again became popular. Many new carols, such as ‘Good King Wenceslas’, were also written in the Victorian period.

New carols services were created and became popular, as did the custom of singing carols in the streets. Both of these customs are still popular today! One of the most popular types of Carols services are Carols by Candlelight services. At this service, the church is only lit by candlelight and it feels very Christmassy! Carols by Candlelight services are held in countries all over the world.

The most famous type of Carol Service might be a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, where carols and Bible readings tell the Christmas Story.

Win a double pass to Carols in the Reservoir

Underground Opera Company CompetitionWin a double pass to Carols in the Reservoir – simply email us with your favourite memory of Christmas as a child. The winner will be drawn and notified by email at 5PM AEST 7 November 2014. We’ll also announce the winner on Facebook.

Be creative – tell us a great story and we’ll post it on Facebook! Don’t worry – we won’t post your name – so be as candid as you like!

To enter, email your story to info@undergroundopera.com.au

Terms and conditions: one double pass will be given away only, prize not exchangeable for cash, winner will be notified as above, prize must be redeemed for Wednesday 26 November 2014 1.30PM show and is not exchangeable. UOC reserves the right to publish any and all stories, without author’s names being attributed.

Art in Australia

We were saddened and slightly disgusted to read this poorly written article full of vigorous hatred towards the Australian arts community and the millions of people it serves annually.

While we reserve our commentary on the standard of ‘journalism’ that is exemplified here, more importantly we wanted to share this article with you all – our patrons, friends and industry networks – because it is unsupported simple-mindedness like this that is injuring the arts community in Australia and has done for some time now.

The case for the continued funding of arts in Australia far outweighs the case against it.

As one of Australia’s leading private opera companies, we hope that opinions like those expressed in the article linked above are taken with the grain of salt they so clearly deserve.

What is a Heritage-Listing?

The 150 year old Spring Hill Reservoirs are Heritage-listed, but what does that really mean?Spring Hill Reservoirs

A Heritage-listing is a list of places that have been deemed to be of outstanding heritage or cultural value to Australia. Current lists include many natural, historic and indigenous places.

How does a place get listed?

According to the Australian Heritage Council, the nine criteria are:

(a) Importance in the course, or pattern, of Australia’s natural or cultural history
(b) Possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Australia’s natural or cultural history
(c) Potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Australia’s natural or cultural history
(d) Importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of Australia’s natural or cultural places or environments
(e) Importance in exhibiting particular aesthetic characteristics valued by a community or cultural group
(f) Importance in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period
(g) Strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons
(h) Special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in Australia’s natural or cultural history
(i) Importance as part of Indigenous tradition.



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