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Opera comes to outback

Friday, 19th April, 2013

Members of Co-Opera Frank Ford (Director), Daniel Sinfield (Alfredo), Raymond Khong (Eisenstein), with sponsor, Hans Henkell Members of Co-Opera Frank Ford (Director), Daniel Sinfield (Alfredo), Raymond Khong (Eisenstein), with sponsor, Hans Henkell

By Kurtis J Eichler

Die Fledermaus is arguably 19th century composer Johan Strauss II's best work.

Its popularity has also been unwavering.

First performed in 1874 to soldout crowds at the Theatre an der Wien in Vienna, the German operetta has gone on to hit stages across the globe.

But Tuesday night was the first time the tiny opal mining town of White Cliffs got a taste of the classic show.

Strauss II's most acclaimed and popular operetta was presented by touring performers Co-Opera to 170 guests at the White Cliffs Sporting Club.

The company aims to bring affordable shows to rural parts of the country.

Since leaving Adelaide seven weeks ago, they've travelled more than 1000km taking their show from town to town.

The new version of the 19th century opera was sung entirely in English and set during Australia's Roaring Twenties.

It the acting troupe's 19th show and they'll hit Glen Innes for their next performance.

Retired antique dealer Neville Bent made the three hour trek with wife Colleen from Broken Hill for the show.

He summed the night up as "highly enjoyable".

"It's only a village White Cliffs but it was really wonderful to see people walking down the main street in 1920s gear," he said.

"I thought it was just superb."

Teacher Maureen Clark and husband Ross donned all black attire and feathers in their caps for the night.

Mrs Clark said the attempts by the characters to maintain their identities and "ridiculous accents" was hilarious.

An art auction held at the interval triggered fierce and uncompromising bidding, raising $3500 for a sound shell to improve the acoustics of future concerts at the hall.

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