Tag Archives: Brenton Spiteri


Production photography by Zan Wimberley

OSCAR AND LUCINDA , the latest production by Sydney Chamber Opera is co- produced and commissioned by Opera Queensland and Victorian Opera. Based on the book by Peter Carey with music by Elliott Gyger and libretto by Pierce Wilcox it is a strong , striking production with wonderful performances.

The book subverts and questions Australian colonialism and society using misfits Oscar and Lucinda as a prism for analysis. We follow the two main characters growing up – while Lucinda’s in Australia, on purloined land, Oscar’s is in England where a dominating, complicated relationship with his father and a troubled calling to be a minister mean Oscar becomes a restless, rather tormented adult. They first meet at the end of Act 1 in a terrific climax. We see how the two of them are brought together by their compulsive gambling that ultimately leads to their destruction.

Gyger’s. intricate, challenging score as played by the dynamic orchestra conducted by Jack Symonds is complicated and while not quite atonal is quite definitely modernist – mostly sharp and spiky but with some quieter lyrical passages and some fractured, recurring motifs. Continue reading OSCAR AND LUCINDA @ CARRIAGEWORKS

Sydney Chamber Opera: Mayakovsky

A scene from the production Mayakovsky at Carriageworks. Pic Zan Wimberley
A scene from the production Mayakovsky at Carriageworks. Pic Zan Wimberley

One of the most unusual works I have seen in a while, the world premiere of MAYAKOVSKY, composed by Michael Smetanin and libretto by Alison Croggon, is given a powerful, striking performance at Carriageworks by the Sydney Chamber Opera.

Electronic music is combined with jazz and amazing singing (among other styles) in the eclectic, fractured and disjointed, very contemporary score. It combines a small woodwind and brass ensemble with guitar, piano, percussion and electronics and was led by conductor and pianist Jack Symonds who navigated the complex and difficult score with excellent focus.

Continue reading Sydney Chamber Opera: Mayakovsky