Opera in the Outback at Undara

opera in the outback
Be social

While it’s definitely not your usual setting for a night at the opera, the outdoor bush amphitheatre at Undara in North Queensland is certainly the most spectacular. And, with kangaroos stopping by to watch some of Australia’s top opera singers perform, it’s likely to be an evening you’ll remember forever.

This year is the fourteenth year that Undara has been running the popular annual event called Opera in the Outback.

operaintheoutback3The setting is magnificent with a grand piano placed on a hard dirt-floor stage surrounded by natural bushland.

Each evening the performance starts at 5.45pm, which creates a magical setting as the sunsets and the native wildlife come out to play.

Totally oblivious to all the action, kangaroos and wallabies stop close to the stage to feed on grass before hopping off into the bush.

Not surprisingly, international tourists find the event particularly captivating. In fact, Opera in the Outback is such a popular event that many people come back year after year.

Singing in the bush

The event itself is held across three days with a different musical genre being performed each night.

operaintheoutback4The first night we watched Attori, a local singing trio who were energetic, funny and totally engaging. They performed songs from some of the biggest musicals from the last 30 years including The Boy from Oz, Grease, Mamma Mia, Buddy Holly and many more well-known hits.

The second night Sydney-based boutique opera company Opera Bites performed an Opera Gala. It was a combination of arias and ensembles from some of the world’s most popular operas including Don Giovanni, Pearl Fishers, La Boheme, The Merry Widow and many more greats.

Made up of a soprano, mezzo soprano, tenor, baritone and bass opera singer, these five talented performers sang 26 songs in total. It was a more formal affair with the men in black dinner suits and the women in formal red gowns.

Their voices were incredible and even those who weren’t familiar with the music appreciated the performances and loved every minute of it.

On the third night Opera Bites performed La Traviata in full costume.

family fun


operaintheoutback5We took our kids along and they thoroughly enjoyed the first night because they were familiar with a lot of the music.

However they didn’t completely understand the opera on the second night as they were a bit young.

Overall I think Opera in the Outback would be more appealing to older children and those that have been exposed to opera before.

Accommodation

As Undara is quite remote, anyone attending Opera in the Outback needs to stay at the resort. The accommodation options available include camping, pioneer huts or restored railway carriages.

The fact that there’s nowhere else to stay means you can mingle with the performers during the day by the pool. They were incredibly down to earth and happy to chat to guests.

During the day there’s plenty of time to enjoy other attractions with tours of the Undara Lava Tubes running daily.

Travel nq fast facts:

  • Opera in the Outback is held once a year in October.
  • The dates for 2016 are 8-10 October.
  • To book call Undara on (07) 4097-1900 or freecall within Australia 1800 990 992.

Leave a Reply