Photography Credit Peter Carrette (Icon Images)
Bodyart Eva Rinaldi
Sydney Opera House Open Day Gets Visual And Musical Surprise with Kat Ferguson and Eva Rinaldi, by Greg Tingle - 24th October 2010
Today was the special one off open day for the famed Sydney icon - the Sydney Opera ("Oprah") House.
Approximately 50,000 lined up to get an insiders look at "The House", and the wet weather was no deterrent.
Attendees were treated to an unexpected (but largely very welcome) unscheduled happening and performance by Eva Rinaldi and her Human Statue Bodyart troupe, passionately campaigning to bodypaint and create a human statue of Oprah Winfrey and friends, rain, hail or shine.
Rinaldi, who has let it been known the world over of her wish to to paint Oprah and friends, pulled out all the stops today, even securing singer - songwriter sensation, Kat Ferguson, who co wrote 'If I Could Have One Wish' with Kay Fallico.
The seemingly impromptu and unscheduled performance drew considerable attention by visitors, news media and security, who hung on every word. In a curious twist, famed Bondi Beach photographer Peter Carrette appeared out of the middle of nowhere, just as he did last weekend at Bondi, and appeared to get the cream of the photographic opportunities, flanked by up and coming "pap" Marek Jezierski. Both paps seemed to have better information on the surprise and were more up to speed than the official Sydney Opera House security team, who were largely warm and inviting to Rinaldi's creative surprises.
Numerous passes by picked up on some of the lyrics that included "I feel a masterpiece unfolding, beneath this paintbrush that I'm holding...Dear Oprah please be brave, cause every coin I raise, will make this world a better place." Even some of Rinaldi's bodypainted models and human statues started singing and dancing, including her very own 'John Travolta Qantas Pilot' (Martin Vadam) and Taaleah Jezierski ('Statue Of Liberty'), Benjamin Cao (Australia reptile) and Jillian Bachara ('BBW Beach Babe'). 'John Travolta' caught the eyes and heart of a bush swag of Japanese tourists who were overheard to say "John's hot stuff", and "Trovolta" responded in kind with a few dance moves, flex or his pecs and a tip of his captain's hat. Others were also heard to shout out "Where's Tom" (Cruise), and chatting about Gail, Russell, Hugh and Jack Thompson was also picked up by news media technical equipment.
The open day proved to be a big hit with both Aussies, tourists, news media, celebrities et al, and no doubt the day further warmed up Australians for both official and paid performances at "The House" as well as the pending arrival of Winfrey and friends in December.
Yes folks, Australia still has "Oprah Fever", regardless of whatever spelling or connotation you choose, and media leaks advise that Rinaldi and some of her inner circle will be campaigning again tomorrow at "people power" news media mainstay, 'Joy's World' as seen on TVS.
We have to hand it to Tourism Australia, Sydney Opera House, Eva Rinaldi and all news media and performers involved... they have really got it right this time, and the surge of campaigning has appeared to put a shot in the arm of Australia's recently struggling tourism sector, and the buzz around Sydney's cafes and water coolers has to be heard to be believed. Well done Australia, you are once again showing 'The World' how its done. One last thing... "Let's Paint Oprah!"
Kat Ferguson and Martin Vadam
Human Statue Bodyart
Kat Ferguson MySpace
Sydney Opera House
Oprah Winfrey website