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Lucy Durack, Josh Piterman set to appear in Parkes 'Overture' event in 2022

The inaugural Overture event will take place at the new Cooke Park Multipurpose Centre. Insets: Lucy Durack and Josh Piterman.
The inaugural Overture event will take place at the new Cooke Park Multipurpose Centre. Insets: Lucy Durack and Josh Piterman.

Parkes is set to host a celebration of musical theatre and opera at the new Cooke Park Pavilion under the beautiful night sky at the inaugural 'Overture' event on Saturday, April 2, 2022.

Headlining the event will be Lucy Durack and the dynamic Josh Piterman.

Lucy is one of Australia's leading stars of the stage and screen, while Josh has graced the stage in lead roles in both Australia and the West End, including starring as The Phantom in the upcoming Opera Australia production of The Phantom of the Opera at the Sydney Opera House in 2022.

Lucy and Josh will be supported by other well-known performers along with local and regional talent.

Parkes Shire Deputy Mayor Cr Barbara Newton, herself a former opera singer, said Parkes should be very excited about next year's event.

"We are thrilled to be hosting such a prestigious event under the beautiful night sky of Parkes at the brand-new Cooke Park Pavilion," she said.

"Following the overwhelming success of the Opera at the Dish event in 2011, it is exciting to be planning such a fabulous musical theatre event in Parkes once again.

"The line-up of artists is phenomenal and it will be an experience that people from all over Australia will be impressed by," said Cr Newton.

Overture not only brings some of the best voices in Australia to regional NSW, but it also gives some of our local chorists and school students the opportunity to work and perform alongside them.

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As part of the event, music director Nicholas Gentile will be conducting a 40-piece orchestra made up of professional and student musicians to ensure a truly unforgettable evening.

There will also be a massed choir of 150 choristers, featuring children and adults from across the Central West, which Cr Newton said would be fabulous for the Parkes region.

"How wonderful will it be to sit under the stars again listening to outstanding performers in Australian music theatre, seeing our own talented performers have an opportunity of a life time and the massed voices of a Choir, bringing beautiful music to us," she said.

UpStage Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to create links between metropolitan and regional young artists, have partnered with Parkes Shire Council to deliver the concert, as well as bring a series of workshops, classes and seminars to the Central West.

UpStage Australia director, and Parkes native Jessica Westcott said this is an invaluable opportunity for the community.

"In the lead up to Overture, we will bring out some of the country's top tutors and professionals in singing, drama, music and dance to facilitate classes and workshops," she said.

"We encourage anyone who has a creative bone in their body to use this as an opportunity to up skill, discover and be inspired.

"We're so thrilled to be creating an opportunity to showcase some of the Central West's incredible young talent as often there are fewer opportunities for regional children to get the kind of experiences their Sydney peers might have.

"Overture is an exciting opportunity for regional youth and musicians to appear on stage with the likes of Lucy Durack and Josh Piterman," said Jessica.

Event proceeds will support a number of community initiatives, including benefiting the McGrath Foundation to provide funding for a specialist breast care nurse in the Lachlan region and to UpStage Australia to foster continuing arts development in the region.

Overture tickets will be on sale in November 2021.

For more information, and to purchase tickets once on sale, head to www.visitparkes.com.au.

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