From the theatre … to the beach
The appearance of Opera Australia was a coup for the Noosa Long Weekend Festival in 2015, as the cast was brought to the Sunshine Coast for the first time, to perform The Magic Flute.
The outrageously colourful costumes and make-up of Clarissa Spata, Bradley Cooper and Regina Daniel brightened an already sunny day at Noosa Main Beach, posing for photographs and delighting in the reaction of locals and tourists lapping up the sun; a fittingly theatrical start to the 12-day festival.
The Magic Flute is directed by Michael Gow, who has adapted the original in an Australian production with a distinctly ‘Indiana Jones’ flair to appeal to the mainstream audience; the play chronicles a quest for wisdom and true love.
Here, we catch up with the leading trio to find out more about the performance and their careers.
Regina Daniel as ‘The Queen of the Night’
Tell us about your role?
“I play the Queen of the Night and she is essentially the villain of the show although she has her motives for why she does what she does. She has her own ideas of how things should go and when that starts to unravel she gets a bit mad and tries to ruin everything.”
How do you get in character?
“For me when you play an evil character I think it’s important to try not to think in terms of, she is evil and bad, you have to look at her motivations and believe in yourself that that’s the right thing to do. I have to believe that she thinks she’s doing the right thing and I think it plays a bit better. It’s easier playing characters like that for me, I find it a bit easier, more of an obvious archetype.”
How long have you been part of this particular performance?
“I did it last year but for both Brad and Clarissa this is their first week. I’m usually based in Berlin.”
Why are you so passionate about performing?
“The music awakens something deep and emotional inside me, whether it’s Mozart or Rossini, you just feel this overwhelmingness and I can’t do anything else but sing and perform in opera. That’s what’s great about doing a tour like this – introducing it to people who haven’t seen it before and saying, hey this is my passion, come and enjoy this with us so you too can know how wonderful this music is and the things it can bring up in you.”
Bradley Cooper as ‘Tamino’
Tell us about your character?
“I play Tamino and in this particular version we are doing he is an explorer. It’s the 1920s and he is stumbling across this pyramid and stumbles into this weird world … he falls in love with this girl he sees a photo of and in order to free her he needs to face these trials with his sidekick to get his girl.”
Can you tell us how the play originated?
“It’s the last show Mozart wrote, he actually wrote it along with someone who is more of a commercial presenter who ran his own theatre, and in the original it wasn’t called an opera, it was called a singspiel which is a singing play so it’s almost a musical. The music is technically difficult to sing so it comes under an opera and it’s this fantasy world where we are trying to bring a clear message to viewers.”
How is the experience of performing at the Noosa Long Weekend Festival shaping up?
“It’s fantastic coming along knowing that the show’s basically sold out already so that’s really gratifying.”
Clarissa Spata as ‘Papageno’
Can you tell us about your character?
“She is a very magical type of character and her love interest has to go through a series of tests. She evolves from being an old woman, so she shows you what’s on the outside isn’t necessarily what’s on the inside.”
What are you looking forward to about performing here in Noosa?
“Because it’s our first time performing for the Noosa Long Weekend Festival, I think that we will create more fans for opera which is our goal – so attracting more people to love what we do!”
Why do you love performing?
“I think there’s something that is innately in you, our instrument is carried on the inside so when we get to share that with others through music and a story, you feel like you’re connecting with another soul there.”
The Noosa Long Weekend Festival returns from 15 to 24 July, 2016.