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April 30, 2019

Love to light up the stage at Opera in the Vineyard 2019

Husband and wife operatic stars Rosario La Spina and Milijana Nikolic will be lighting up the stage with a dazzling performance at Opera in the Vineyard 2019, a gala charity event held in the spectacular vineyards of Ballandean Estate on the Granite Belt this Sunday 5 May.

Mezzo-soprano meets tenor

This is a rare opportunity for Serbian-born mezzo-soprano Milijana Nikolic to perform with her real-life husband, powerful international tenor Rosario La Spina, as tenor and mezzo is an uncommon pairing.

The sizzling duo fell in love at the Academy for Soloists at Teatro alla Scala in Milan.  Rosario was asked to interpret for the Belgrade beauty, who had won a scholarship at the academy—two weddings, Carmen and certain-to-be-gifted progeny later, this talented couple treasures every moment together.

Soprano Milijana Nikolic and tenor Rosario La Spina
Soprano Milijana Nikolic and tenor Rosario La Spina

There will be some true classics performed that everyone will know, so it’s a joyful way to experience opera with celebration of Granite Belt food and wine.

Event founder and Ballandean Estate patriarch Angelo Puglisi

La Scala lovers

Milijana is a femme fatale blessed with a voice that oozes elegance and passion. Her most recent performances include the title role in Carmen for Opera Australia; Amneris for Seattle Opera and Opera Australia; and Jane Seymour (Anna Bolena) for The Metropolitan Opera New York.

Australian-born international tenor Rosario La Spina was trained at the young singers’ academy at La Scala, Milan. In 2002, Rosario won first prize in the Mario Del Monaco International Opera Competition and made his principal role debut at La Scala as Riccardo (Oberto) reprising the role in Genoa. Since then, he has taken leading roles in the Italian and French repertoire around the world. His tenor is exquisitely pure and soars over an orchestra with breathtaking clarity. 

Diamonds are forever

The glittering duo will be joined on stage by pianist providing a luscious accompaniment on grand piano.  The program of songs ranges from iconic tenor arias  to sparkling melodies from the world of operetta—complemented by musical insights, personal stories, and a few surprises.

Rotary Stanthorpe raises over $1 million for charity

Event founder and Ballandean Estate patriarch Angelo Puglisi  is looking forward to the 27th iteration of the gala event which has raised over $1 million for charity in partnership with Rotary Stanthorpe. Funds raised will be distributed to Rotary charities Ending Trachoma, Hummingbird House in Brisbane and several more.

Opera in the Vineyard was born of a friendship between Angelo and his neighbour, the late David Pugh. Listening to opera and watching the sun set over the vineyards with a glass of Angelo’s shiraz was a cherished tradition, From humble beginnings, this event is now the jewel of the Granite Belt’s social calendar and one of South East Queensland’s premier cultural experiences.  The 2019 performance will be created and directed by at Opera Queensland. For more information visit https://ballandeanestate.com/events/opera-in-the-vineyard/

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