CHEK Upside: Pop-up opera reaches new heights on Royal Theatre roof

CHEK Upside: Pop-up opera reaches new heights on Royal Theatre roof
WatchPacific Opera Victoria's pop up concert series wrapped up on the roof of the Royal Theatre with a performance by local soprano Allison Ward.

It’s opera with a view. Up a small ladder, the equipment and personnel went, to the top of the Royal Theatre for a very special performance on Friday.

“This is a first for me, but I think we’re doing pretty well with the social distancing,” says performer Allison Ward.

Pacific Opera Victoria has put on pop up operas each summer for the past few years, but due to COVID-19, this summer season has been different.

“It’s been important to keep social distancing and safety protocols in place so we’ve actually really had to pare back our publicity of the event,” says Ward. “We have some people along the way who would just kind of be at a park,” she adds.

With the cooperation of the Royal Theatre, a plan was put into motion to take pop-up opera to new heights.

“They were doing this pop-up opera, they reached out, we had talked about how we could do it at the Royal Theatre and they said “Could we go on the roof?,” says Royal and McPherson Theatre representative Ainslee Jessiman.

“We talked to our technical department and said yes, yes we can definitely do this from the roof,” she adds.

It’s events like this that are helping the theatre stay relevant during the pandemic.

“One of the great things is with challenges, this is an industry the creative community, the arts community it really thinks outside of the box and tries to make things happen,” says Jessiman.

Neighbours stood on their balconies, watched on Instagram, and politely applauded the completion of another successful performance.

“It’s just been a really wonderful thing to be able to sing, to be able to do what I love so much and to be able to bring a little bit of joy and beauty to this kind of scary world right now!”

To watch the rooftop performance, visit Pacific Opera Victoria’s Facebook page.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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