A local campaign from passionate opera fans in Castlemaine has seen Met Opera screenings return to the Theatre Royal.
Community members Vic Fay and Peter Morris lead a campaign of encouragement.
“There are two of us who have run opera classes in the community and we thought it would be wonderful to have these screenings in Castlemaine rather than having to go to Melbourne,” Mr Fay said.
“It’s a chance to see these wonderful performances with fabulous (international) artists.
“Most of us who are really committed usually go to Melbourne. Some years ago Castlemaine had some on but we have never had whole season advertised in advance to book ahead and know what's coming up.”
The Met Opera Live Season sees screenings of some of the world’s best opera singers performing in New York City.
Mr Fay said he ran a campaign of encouragement rather than pressure.
“We did two things. One was we circulated information among groups of friends and networks of music supporters to gauge level of interest,” he said.
“Then we gathered representatives from across the community to meet with Theatre Royal staff and discuss the possibility of having the screenings.”
Mr Fay said the Theatre Royal team was very receptive to the community’s opinions.
“The current team of owners at the Theatre Royal are absolutely in touch with the community,” he said.
“They are responsive to a broad range of community interests and taste, putting on gigs and Q and A sessions and specialist films.
“It seems they are trying to provide a broad range of attractions for a whole variety of people in the community.”
Met Opera screenings will be each month from October until August next year with 10 performances featured including Samson et Dalila, La Traviata, Carmen and La Fille du Regiment included.
Mr Fay said he hopes to encourage new and old opera fans to attend some of the screenings over the next 10 months.
“One hopes to build an understanding. If you give self to the emotional journey of the music and story, opera is an amazing outlet,” he said.
“I have about 60 people on my opera email list and I know Peter Morris has a network of people. We hope that there's enough to make it a financially and culturally rewarding process.”
For more information, including ticket prices and season pass options, head to www.theatreroyalcastlemaine.com.au or phone (03) 5472 1196.