New opera company set to hit a high note

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Councillor Jackie Greenow, Lorenzo Rositano, Mayor Karen McKeown and Valda Silvy. Photo: Megan Dunn

Get a taste for the future of opera in western Sydney, as the newly formed Western Sydney Opera company treats Penrith to their first performance.

On Saturday, May 7 at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Western Sydney Opera’s founder and lead tenor Lorenzo Rositano will debut their talent, and start on a high note.

Western Sydney Opera is supported by Penrith Council, who contributed $6000 to help form the company and fund its first two productions, sparked by a recommendation from Councillor Jackie Greenow.

Kingswood resident, Mr Rositano, said the funding couldn’t come at a better time, to support local talent and help promote an unsupported culture in the region.

“We have the only cultural institution named after the late Dame Joan Sutherland in the world,” he said.

“She was a singer of international renown, so it makes perfect sense that Penrith, and the west, should have its own opera company.”

At the Mayoral Arts and Cultural Summit held late last year, creating opportunities for the region’s artistic community and capturing an equitable share of Government funding were identified as key priorities.

Mayor Karen McKeown said the formation of the local company was a fantastic opportunity for western Sydney residents and visitors to experience opera that Council is proud to support.

“We see this as a Council-led step toward addressing this inequity and investing in, and providing opportunities for local talent,” she said.

“Despite significant inequities in the amount of arts and culture funding given to other areas of Sydney compared to western Sydney, there is a tremendous sense of pride about what has been achieved and a great sense of optimism about what could happen if more funding came to the west.”

Western Sydney Opera’s launch on Saturday, May 7 will feature opera’s emerging artists performing operatic highlights, and songs from operetta and musical theatre.

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