Opera By The Ocean Sings In perfect harmony


The very first Opera by the Ocean community festival, a musical and entertainment masterpiece, was recently held at Coffs Harbour. The brand new cultural festival is the brainchild of Council Galleries Curator/ Director, Dr Leigh Summers.

The inaugural “Opera by the Ocean” event culminated perfectly with the twilight family picnic event at North Sapphire Beach community. The wider festival was presented by Coffs Harbour City Council and ran from Thursday 11 to Sunday 14, starting with an opera movie night at the Gallery and 20 performances across the city spread over four days.

The concluding event was a highly memorable family fun inspired afternoon, held in the huge grassed Amphitheatre in front of the Beachstone Café. Plenty of delicious food and drink was on offer, with the Coffs SLSC (Surf Life Saving Club) offering mouth-watering sausages sizzle. Other family’s brought their own picnics and simply pitched up and enjoyed the nights’ festivities.

Opera By The Ocean

Entertainment was on hand to keep both adults and children amused throughout the evening, with Kid’s entertainer Mr Smiley and powerful performances from Sam Cobcroft and her pianist husband Vincent Parmenter, accompanied by an amazing choir. Having come from across the region, the choir also performed with the Sydney Independent Opera Company, who brought a full cast and orchestra in addition to outstanding costumes and scenery.

“The festival was a truly thrilling experience. Opera by the Ocean attracted some of Australia's finest voices to Coffs Harbour for a world class, inspirational and unexpected festival experience. What made this such a wonderful community festival is the fact that so many performances were free or open-air happenings – such as the family picnic performance and fun at North Sapphire Beach Park,” said Dr Summers.

For North Sapphire Beach community, the festival was all about celebrating the “Water Gum – release 1” phase of the project, which is now officially available to the public. 43 lots were created as part of the latest stage of the project with only nine remaining. This follows the successful release of the beach front lots, of which only one remains.

North Sapphire Beach is all about living the rewarding coastal lifestyle for residents of the newly established and growing family community. It features over 38 hectares of serene, spacious parkland and a network of cycle paths and boardwalks that lead down to the beach. Next to the beach is an impressive playground for the kids, with the neighbouring Beachstone Café. This is in addition of the adjacent park used to host community gatherings, celebrations and outdoor fitness training sessions – all contributing to an engaging community feel.

There is already so much on offer and yet so much more to look forward to with the site under continued development. For anyone considering a move to the new North Sapphire Beach site, not only is it located on the coastline, a good enough reason in itself to live there, but it is also ideally located within 10 minutes’ drive of the Coffs Harbour city.

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