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Opera in the Outback

Short Film (Full Length) – 1988

Because of the opera, and the racecourse being built, everybody, I mean all of the locals — and when I say all of the locals, that’s the whole 12 of us sort of thing — have had a fair bit put on us to do in a short time, and it really has brought out the best in everybody.
– Local woman in the town of Beltana
I think it’s probably the juxtaposition of putting something that’s as grand as opera, and someone who is as grand as Dame Kiri, in a bush setting. It’s the opposites that seem to be attracting. And it's turning out in many people’s minds to be one of the great unique events of the bicentennial.
– One of the organisers
…we actually thought he was out of his mind, because it was such a ridiculous request to have me go into the outback, to Flinders Ranges, with orchestra, and sing…for who?
– Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
We spent literally thousands of dollars just ringing and faxing, getting (the overseas) investors. The last fax came in at 4pm on the Thursday, then we shot down to the Film Commission and signed the contracts, picked up our tickets and were in the air by eight.
– Director Stephen Latty on the rush to get funding in time for the concert, 1 June 1989 Evening Post, page 28