2017 Opera

The 12th annual Rotary Club of Woy Woy 'Opera in the Arboretum' charity event was held on Saturday 25 March 2017 at Pearl Beach.

For 14 days before the event we had inclement weather - rainstorms that varied in intensity, duration and timing - so that we were not sure if the weather would be kind to us. As it turned out we were lucky with no rain during the event and only a light shower before curtain up for the early arrivals.
So the picnic rugs stayed dry and all enjoyed a superb afternoon of opera favourites and ethereal melodies amidst the beauty of the Crommelin Native Arboretum.
A stellar line up of performers including David Hobson – Tenor, one of Australia’s best-loved operatic, concert and stage performers and internationally acclaimed Sally-Anne Russell – Mezzo Soprano, Opera Australia rising star Baritone Andrew Jones, Soprano Michaele L Archer and ‘Cello Diva’ Sally Maer delivered a delightful program featuring a gorgeous mix of Opera classics, highlights from English composers and music from the Celtic genre. The event was supported by the Central Coast Chamber Orchestra conducted by Patrick Brennan with accompanist Francis Greep on the piano.
Funds raised go to three main beneficiaries and other Rotary projects. This year's beneficiaries are:
The Rotary Foundation  |  Australian Rotary Health  |  Regional Youth Support Services
Opera in the Arboretum is an annual charity event presented by the Rotary Club of Woy Woy Inc.
2016 Opera

Sandwiched between days of torrential downpours was a brilliant sunny day - Saturday 19 March - the day of our major annual fundraiser, Opera in the Arboretum.

With sighs of relief, the sold-out crowd that attended set aside umbrellas and relaxed in the unexpected sunshine. 
The Opera attracts people from near and far and is considered a cultural highlight on the Central Coast calendar. The event is held hail, rain, or shine and we were certainly delighted with the clear skies and temperature in the mid-20s. We'd prepared for rain, purchasing a new tent to keep our artists and the orchestra dry, and while the awning was not needed this year its visual impact added the WOW factor to the stage setting.
Beneath the Arboretum’s canopy of native trees the enthusiastic audience enjoyed stunning vocal performances, led by operatic baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes, of opera’s best loved arias, duets and ensembles as well as much loved favourites from the Golden Age of Musical Theatre. 
From the messages of congratulations received, the event was enjoyed by all. Teddy remarked that the Arboretum was one of the best outdoor venues he's performed at - praise indeed from the international star.
This year, our main beneficiaries will be the PCYC Umina Beach who offer recreational activities to local youth, and ShelterBox, a Rotary Project Partner, who provide emergency shelter and vital supplies to support communities around the world overwhelmed by disaster and humanitarian crisis.
So a big thank you to all of you who purchased tickets or helped out with sponsorship. We hope to see you all again in 2017.
Top: Back l/r John Greenway (Rotary Woy Woy event organiser), Teddy Tahu Rhodes (bass baritone), Francis Greep (piano), James Egglestone (tenor), Clarissa Spata (soprano), Michaele Archer (artistic director and guest soprano), Patrick Brennan (conductor). Front l/r Rosemary Ruthven (co-presenter), Angela Brewer (soprano), Marie Armstrong (Rotary Woy Woy President 2015-16)
Photo by Carlos Raimundo