Opera in the Paddock not only wowed its audience but as an encore picked up a special grant of $5000 from Premier Nathan Rees.Member for Northern Tablelands Richard Torbay, a regular at the Paddock announced the funding towards this year’s production at the end of the concert.
Taking a bow: Opera in the Paddock performers, Tenor Richard Greager, Pianist David Miller, Soprano Lexi Hutton, Mezzo soprano Elizabeth Campbell, Conductor Timothy Sexton, Soprano and hostess Beta Hostess,
Bass David Hibbard, and Baritone Shaun Brown.
Former Bingara girl, soprano Lexi Hutton, made her second appearance at the Paddock, and impressed the crowd. In September, Lexi will be moving to London to commence studying for her Master’s in Vocal Performance. She received two offers of study after successfully auditioning in London in December 2008. Lexi has declined the offer from London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, instead accepting the offer from the Royal College of Music.
“Opera in the Paddock is a fabulous event for our region,” Mr Torbay said. “It has absolute integrity and a commitment to quality.
“This year was the most ambitious concert yet with a guest conductor, Tim Sexton, many more local musicians, a very professional backstage crew and the singers who were just magic.” Peta Blyth, who with her husband host the event, said around 1200 people from all over the state, Brisbane, Sunshine and Gold Coasts, Toowoomba, Sydney, Townsville attended the concert.
Visitors included the German Consul and his wife, Countess Virginia Faber Castell, patron of the arts.
Another music lover arrived at “Mimosa”, the site of the concert, in his helicopter.
"The weather was perfect and the crowd very responsive,” Ms Blyth said. “We took it up a notch or two this year with the addition of Tim Sexton as conductor and compere and the addition of extra instruments and the program was very well received, as was the Recital at the Inverell Town Hall with approximately 300 people in attendance.”