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Decades of opera beauty

PERFECT SETTING: David Hobson and Jacqueline Porter performing at Opera in the Vineyards.
PERFECT SETTING: David Hobson and Jacqueline Porter performing at Opera in the Vineyards. Contributed

THIS year marks 25 years of the Opera in the Vineyard at Ballandean Estate on the Granite Belt.

The opera was born of a dream between two friends who shared a bottle of wine as they watched the sun set over the autumn coloured vineyards and mountains of Sundown Valley National Park while listening to opera on a radio cassette.

The two friends talked of sharing some of the beautiful things in life whilst helping others.

In 1993, this dream merged with the Rotary Club of Stanthorpe's decision to sponsor the outfitting of a lodge at the Wesley Hospital where rural patients could reside comfortably while they received cancer treatment.

The Silver Anniversary Opera is themed for the first time.

"We are looking forward to seeing people dressed up in the fabulous costumes of the Gatsby era,” said Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi.

"We are also proud to have two of Australia's great opera talents to help us celebrate 25 great years of Opera in the Vineyard.”

Australian tenor and composer, David Hobson has a repertoire that span's the gamut of musical styles from baroque through to pop.

Soprano Emma Matthews won Limelight's Australian Artist of the Year 2016 to add to her many achievements.

Both have performed at previous Opera in the Vineyards and are very excited to be coming together to shine at the silver anniversary event.

Over the years, much has been achieved towards supporting various charities while Opera patrons share the love of beautiful music.

On reflection, Angelo Puglisi said they never thought this would continue for 25 years.

"But the partnerships created have made a big difference for many people over the years,” he said.

"Those who have benefited from the charity donations.

"I think that's the best thing to come from the opera.”

Over $1.2 million has been donated with major beneficiaries being the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane and Carramar - Stanthorpe's aged care facility.

This year, the Rotary Club of Stanthorpe has decided to focus a major portion of the fundraising dollars from the Silver Anniversary Opera towards the $1.5 billion needed by the Rotary End Polio Now program which aims to eradicate the debilitating childhood disease, Polio.

Rotary International has fought Polio for over 30 years.

Rotary's End Polio Now program has reduced polio infections from an estimated 350,000 cases in 125 countries in 2006 to less than 40 reported cases in only 3 countries in 2016.

Join the Stanthorpe Rotarians at the 25th Opera in the Vineyard. Your contribution will assist to eradicate a human disease for only the second time in history. Tickets for the 25th Opera in the Vineyard are available from www. ballandeanestate.com.



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