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South East Arts | Opera in the Gardens Raises Funds for Local Health and Wellbeing

On Saturday 14 April the sounds of opera will resonate through the Monaro, as countertenor Tobias Cole performs at JOY, a charity fundraising event for South East Arts in the glorious gardens of ‘Shirley’ near Nimmitabel.
Tobias Cole is the artistic director of Canberra opera company Handel in the Theatre. He is one of Australia’s most successful countertenors, having performed throughout Australia, the UK and USA.
JOY is a major fundraising event for South East Arts’ Swell: Arts and Health program. Arts and Health is the practice of using arts to improve health and wellbeing, as well as enhancing health care experiences for patients and their support networks. Swell aims to build stronger, healthier and happier communities, supported by strong networks and opportunities for participation and learning.
Mr Andrew Gray, General Manager of South East Arts said, “Our Swell initiative has already brought live music and art to the South East Regional Hospital in Bega this year, Aboriginal cultural integration and welcome to health services in the Eurobodalla and networked arts and health workers across the region. “
“Our next Swell next project will use theatre to deliver key health messages across Bega Valley, Eurobodalla and Snowy Monaro Regional Shire Council areas. On the horizon, are projects focussing on youth mental health and creative ageing. By purchasing a ticket to this fundraising event it will help South East Arts deliver even more,” he said.
JOY will take place in the gardens of ‘Shirley’, the jewel in the crown of this third generation Monaro sheep and cattle property. The magnificent gardens feature French and Italian inspired gardens and expansive lawns, creating a unique venue for this performance, with a beautiful Autumn backdrop.
Chair of South East Arts, Mr Ian Campbell recently spent some time at ‘Shirley’, “Without you even realising, this amazing property allows you to forget the outside world and relax.”
“As a venue, ‘Shirley’ really is something special, like a gateway to another world right here on our doorstep, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a unique musical program,” he said.
‘Shirley’ is a regular stop in the famed Private Gardens of the Monaro open gardens tours and was featured in the 70th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of House & Garden Magazine. Owners John and Sally-Ann Cottle look forward to welcoming guests to the event.
Ticketholders are welcome to wander the 2.4ha of gardens at their leisure before the performance (2.30pm) and during the intermission. ‘Shirley’ is located just 1 hour from Bega or 45 minutes from Cooma and just 2 hours from Canberra.
The performance is outside on the lawns in the open. Ticketholders are invited to bring a picnic rug or low chair to sit on for the performance. Afternoon tea will be available.
This event is not suitable for children. No pets please.
Tickets are available from