Twelve months ago, Jonathon Welch brought together a group of Melbourne's disadvantaged to form a choir, but he had no idea what a sensation it would become. Now, the forty-two members of the Choir of Hard Knocks have been invited to perform in the Opera House concert hall. Taking such a disparate group on the road is a risky venture, and the stakes are high. It's a real show of faith in the Choir, and nerve-wracking for the organisers. It's a massive logistical operation given the varied emotional and physical needs of the choristers. For most, it will be their first time on a plane or their first trip interstate. It's an exciting and stressful experience for the choristers, and possibly overwhelming for some. But the Choir and the organisers are determined to make it a performance of a lifetime. For Jonathon Welch, it's a return to his home stage - the "office" as he calls it. As Principal Tenor with Opera Australia, the Opera House stage was his second home for many years. Now he returns with the Choir to perform in front of a sell-out crowd in what will be a truly special performance.
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