Scheduled Events News

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

Headlining the event will be Lucy Durack, one of Australia's leading stars of the stage and screen, and the dynamic Josh Piterman, who has graced the stage in lead roles in both Australia and the West End, including staring as The Phantom in the upcoming Opera Australia production of The Phantom of the Opera at the Sydney Opera House in mid-2022 onwards. Lucy and Josh will be supported by other well-known performers along with local and regional talent.

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

"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 the Deputy Mayor.

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

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.

"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," Deputy Mayor Barb Newton 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 Jessica Westcott said, "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. 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,"Jessica proclaimed.

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