11-21 AUGUST 2022 View all events

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Event info

Presented by BLEACH* and Opera Queensland

Presented by BLEACH* and Opera Queensland

Experience the magic of opera in the gardens as you listen to a curated concert of traditional songs marking life’s big moments, presented by BLEACH* and Opera Queensland.

Gold Coast locals from all corners of the globe have shared cultural songs celebrating births, baptisms, name days, weddings, funerals and periods of mourning. With new arrangements by composer John Rotar and performed by some of Queensland’s finest opera singers and musicians, this promises to be a moving and memorable, family-friendly event. Bring a picnic and a rug and relax with your friends for this unforgettable evening of music under the stars.


Performance Info

5PM  Gates Open

6PM  Performance Starts


JOHN ROTAR – Composer

John (b. 1995), described by Limelight magazine as a ‘young, talented and innovative composer’, is a Brisbane-based composer and conductor.

Growing up in a musical family, John’s passion for music started at an early age, after starting piano at age six John turned his hand to composition at eight and at twelve had his first orchestral work performed by the Bundaberg Youth Orchestras.

Since then John has had over 130 works commissioned, recorded or performed by many leading performers and arts organisations across Australia, Europe and North America.

John is also an active performer and is the current Artistic Director and Conductor of The Australian Voices as well as the organist at the historic All Saints Church in the CBD of Brisbane.

Dr Katherine Lyall-Watson – Writer

Katherine is a Co-Artistic Director of Brisbane independent theatre company, Belloo Creative. She graduated with a doctorate in Creative Writing from UQ in 2013, the same year she was shortlisted for the Patrick White Playwright’s Award for her doctoral play, Motherland. Motherland won numerous awards for its premiere season in 2013 and went on to tour nationally in 2016.

Katherine is the writer of HANAKO (Brisbane Festival 2016), Rovers (Brisbane Festival 2018), House in the Dunes (Japan 2020), Phaedra*(Queensland Theatre 2020), AKIRUNO (Tokyo Tokyo Festival 2021) and Boy, Lost (Queensland Theatre & Belloo 2022).

Katherine regularly mentors younger and emerging writers and was the chair of Playlab from 2014-2019.
* Phaedra was a casualty of COVID-19 and didn’t premiere in 2020.


Laura has worked on Opera Queensland productions for the last decade as both an artistic and technical collaborator. Most recently, Laura directed OQ’s touring production Are You Lonesome Tonight, and was Associate Director on Circa’s Italian Baroque presented with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra at Sydney Festival 2022.

In 2021/2022 Laura was a resident Director with Circa and was the Project Lead on their inclusive Circus program Circability. Laura has acted as Assistant Director on a variety of productions – for Opera Queensland: The Marriage of Figaro (2021), Tosca (2019), Songs to Die For (2019); and for Victorian Opera: The Barber of Seville (2019), Pelléas and Mélisande (2018).

Laura has worked extensively with companies such as Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Opera and State Opera South Australia. In 2020 Laura was nominated as an Emerging Female Artist at the Matilda awards.


Currently the CEO & Artistic Director of Opera Queensland, Patrick has created productions for Opera Australia, WA Opera, Sydney Chamber Opera, New Zealand Opera, Seattle Opera, Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir St, Griffin Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company, London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and all the major Australian capital city festivals.

From 2009–2014 he was Artistic Director of Legs On The Wall, creating works that toured Australia, UK, Korea and Brazil. In 2015, Patrick was awarded an Australia Council Fellowship to support research into large scale outdoor performance and the relationship between extreme physicality and storytelling.

Operas include: Oscar and Lucinda Opera Queensland with Sydney Chamber Opera and Victorian Opera; Tosca, A Flowering Tree and The Marriage of Figaro Opera Queensland; Verdi Requiem Opera Queensland with Bleach Festival; Katya Kabanova Seattle Opera and NZ Opera; Notes from Underground Sydney Chamber Opera; A Flowering Tree Perth Festival and WA Opera; Acis and Galatea, Dido and Aeneas, Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, Eugene Onegin, Pelléas et Mélisande Opera Australia; La bohème, Eugene Onegin New Zealand Opera; the world première of Love in the Age of Therapy by Paul Grabowsky and Joanna Murray-Smith for the Sydney and Melbourne Festivals.

ROSIE DENNIS – Dramaturg

    • Accessible toilet
    • Performances may contain lighting effects, strobe and haze
    • Performance may contain loud sounds/music
    • Primarily Audio based content

    This event will take place outdoors, on a grassed surface. The event site is mainly flat but may have some small bumps or inclines. Further information on the site's physical access can be found on our Accessibility page.

    Seating is not provided as part of a general admission ticket - patrons are encouraged to bring picnic blankets or their own seating. Please contact the BLEACH* team to discuss if you have specific access needs regarding seating or sight lines.

    Home Grown Opera is an event with sound and visual elements, but sight is not integral to understanding and enjoyment of the work.

    The work will contain music and spoken word in English and other languages.

    Click here for more information.

    Photo CreditClaudio Kirac
    Art-Work Agency
    Free / Register

    Registration required

    You must register to attend this free event.

    Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens

    230 Ashmore RdBenowa QLD 4217

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    Thursday 11 Aug6:00 pm
    Friday 12 Aug6:00 pm
    Saturday 13 Aug6:00 pm
    All times are QLD AEST
    Important Info
    • Food & beverage available on site
    • Suitable for all ages
    • Parking
    • Limited seating available, bring beach chair or blanket
    • Free / Register
    • Family
    • Food
    • FREE
    • Music

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    We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the Yugambeh Language Region and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People of the Gold Coast. We recognise their continuing connection and contributions to country and culture. We pay respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.