Camel chorus to back Carreras

Classical operas are being blasted out to a caravan of Australian camels, preparing them for a one-way trip to South Korea to star in a lavish production of Verdi's opera Aida.

    The humped performers will be emigrating to Korea for good

    Six dromedaries will be flown from central Australia to Seoul later this month, but strict quarantine laws mean they will never return to their homeland and will devote the rest of their lives to South Korea's tourist industry, said camel handler Janet Geappen on Saturday.

    "They're getting used to the Aida opera. I've been playing it to our camels here and I swear they're swinging their tails to the music, I think they like it," Geappen told Reuters.

    "Camels adapt very, very quickly to new things and new environments. The only thing you can't get them used to is the amount of people in the crowd, but we'll be looking at that as well," the cameleer said from Broome in Western Australia.

    Elephants too

    The Australian camels will be ridden by opera singers for their brief stage appearance in the September performance which will also feature horses and elephants, she added.

    Celebrated tenor Jose Carreras will sing in the South Korean production of Aida, which is set in ancient Egypt and tells the tragic story of Radames, an Egyptian commander, and his secret lover Aida, an Ethiopian slave.

    Australia has the world's largest wild camel population, with conservative estimates at 500,000. Camels were first brought to Australia in the 18th century to help explorers venture into the dry interior.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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