Once a year the Sydney Opera House throws open its doors to the public to take a look – letting people have a sneak peak at the workings behind one of Australia’s iconic landmarks. It’s hugely popular – over 20,000 people queued for hours to get a chance to stand on the big stage and dream they are a star! This year, representatives from Moorambilla Voices and the MAXed OUT Company and Artistic Director Michelle Leonard were asked to perform at the opening ceremony.
It was a hard task to choose a limited number of candidates. Kids descended from 11 towns across the region – Gilgandra, Coonabarabran, Lightning Ridge, Maryvale, Cobar, Narromine, Baradine, Dubbo, Nyngan, Guerie and Mungindi.
After the acknowledgement of country given by Rhoda Roberts, Sydney Opera House’s Head of Indigenous Programming and an introduction by NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Louise Herron, Chief Executive of the Sydney Opera House, Moorambilla Voices performed a work given to them by Wiradjuri elder Stan Grant Senior, Yama. MAXed OUT, led by Taikoz Senior Artist Anton Lock, then performed “The Calling”, taiko and fan dance.
The children stood on the stage of the Opera House Concert Hall, and it was wonderful to see Frank Wright’s backdrop for this year’s Gala Concert hung in the backstage area.
The trip to Sydney was an opportunity for the children to experience a different style of performance – under pressure at a high profile event. They learnt how to conduct themselves in a professional situation, and behaved impeccably in front of lots of cameras! Sound checks, rehearsals on site, blending with each other, and adapting to a smaller performing group outdoors, without the security of an indoor stage, was no problem! Representing the region as ambassadors for Moorambilla they were outstanding!
The trip also gave the children an opportunity to walk through the city to see some of the sights – the Botanical Gardens, the Conservatorium of Music, Sydney Hospital on Macquarie Street, the Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay and the Sydney Museum, They also dropped to the historic St James Church, the oldest in Australia, and heard a rehearsal of new Australian music.
“One of the nicest things was seeing how our older candidates have developed into natural leaders, helping out and actively supporting the younger children,” says Artistic Director Michelle Leonard. “This opportunity to develop leadership and peer support skills is one of the great benefits of this program.”
“I want to personally thank all the parents and supporters who helped us to make this happen! Our next Sydney adventure will be with the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus for their 12th year of Carols on Norton on 20 December 2015. I look forward to welcoming members of Moorambilla Voices to join us on stage with full orchestra.”