Students Giving A New Voice To Opera In Brisbane
Music reporter Layne Ngatai-Stokes chats with the founder of the Brisbane City Opera for the Griffith Collective
Sitting in South Bank parklands, home of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, every day you hear a rich variety of musical styles.
At almost any hour, students like me are busy warming up, practising or worrying about their classes.
However, one group of students provides the exception to that rule, having gone way beyond standard study procedures to form their own company: Brisbane City Opera.
Speaking with BCO founder, director and third year vocal student Chris McNee, I glean insights into how it all came about and how other students can join the BCO or launch their own ventures.
“Brisbane City Opera comprises a group of talented young vocal and piano students from the Queensland Conservatorium. They are among the brightest up and coming musical talents in Australia,” says Chris.
“Our core goal is to provide an outlet of performance and opportunity for Conservatorium students. To encourage and maintain that spirit of participation, the company is run by the students themselves.
“Through this approach, as many as possible can gain vital experience in a variety of artistic roles.”
The business model created for the BCO ensures aspiring performers benefit from unparalleled experience for those just starting out in the music industry. This includes providing rehearsal opportunities and helping students choose their repertoires.
The BCO manages the projects, maintains communication with clients and provides the necessary information leading to a seamless and professional concert performance.
How to build your own company
“Once we had the idea for the company, it progressed quickly,” says Chris.
“We approached various members of staff at the Con for advice. Helen Lancaster has been a great help and we also spoke to Diana Tolmie and received some really sound advice about the business side of things.
“We also sought advice from people such as our vocal coaches, to learn more about dealing with the performance aspect of the concept.”
Chris believes there is a real hunger for the kind of performances given by the BCO.
“Our first gig was at the Vela Nursing home at Carina and we quickly organised who was singing what with whom and off we went,” he says.
“From there we have performed at churches, parties, the Conservatorium itself and even the Brisbane Ekka.
“I think we’ve hit on a fantastic niche with our outreach work in the community and, as the company continues to grow, our performers are going from strength to strength.”
With opportunities for young performers while at university, the Brisbane City Opera shows what can be accomplished with initiative, dedication and networking.
And the result is music to a multitude of ears.
Find out more about the Brisbane City Opera:
BCO Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/BrisbaneCityOpera
BCO Contact Info – firstname.lastname@example.org
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