I was so very lucky to be able to go to the Leeuwin Concert in Margaret River, as a corporate guest! Thank you to a few work colleagues cancelling at the last-minute. The Leeuwin Concert is a once a year event that has been running for 28 years. The concert is hosted at the beautiful Leeuwin Estate Winery and each year local, national and international artists descend to the town of Margaret River to perform in the natural amphitheater at the bottom of the hill in the estate.
Our black tie corporate evening for the Saturday night concert included pre-dinner drinks, central seating and a three course dinner in a Marquee a few metres from the concert. Return bus transfers were also included to and from our accommodation at The Margaret River Resort. Pre-dinner drinks seemed to be a networking affair for the executives and their wives, all the big Australian companies were present – Qantas, Shell, West Farmers, Kailis, ANZ. It was a little intimidating I will admit. The Brisbane Times referred to the corporate event as The Billionaires Big Day Out.
Half an hour before the concert we were ushered to our seating and leaving the Marquee we were invited to take a bottle or two the Leeuwin Estate’s wine to our seats. We discovered our seating to be in the middle of the arena! Standard admission was located directly behind.
It was truly a different experience to be all dressed up for an outdoor concert and the venue was amazing and stunning. The natural amphitheater with the Karri Forest as a backdrop was relaxing and picturesque – a unique West Australian experience.
The performers included soprano, Marina Prior, tenor, David Hobson and the Perth Symphony Orchestra.
Marina is renowned for her leading lady role in The Phantom of the Opera and David has sung many roles for the Opera Australia.
Marina and David owned the stage, they not only captured the audience with their powerful voices, they engaged through light-hearted conversation for the whole evening. The duo sang a repertoire of musical theatre and opera songs. They dedicated the song The Prayer to the firefighters of the recent fire in Margaret river. When Marina sang ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ the Australian kookaburras chimed in and flew over the crowd, was this by chance????
Some other notable songs included the Beatles Blackbird, Call Me Madam’s You’re Just in Love, Music of the Night from the Phantom of the Opera, Leonard Cohen’s Dance Me to the End of Love and the sad song ‘When Somebody Loved Me‘ from the movie Toy Story 2. James Morrison entertained us with his energetic performance of the trumpet.
After the concert ended we proceeded to the extravagant Marquee donned in a ‘Shanghai night theme’. In the lavish setting we drank the vintage Leeuwin wine and ate the food served to us. In front of the dance floor was a lounge with a Barista!!!! Espresso it was! The night at this point went so fast and before we knew it, it was time to go back to the waiting buses.
It was a relaxing and beautiful night to spend in the Karri Forest of Margaret River. It was magical and as The Leeuwin promised it was a festival of fine wine, food and music. The Leeuwin concert is not just for the ‘penguin people’, guests under a different ticket can enjoy a picnic atmosphere in much more casual and comfortable clothes. While we were somewhere in Shanghai for dinner, general admission were being entertained further with a number of additional performances.