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→
RESONANT BODIES is a festival of new vocal music founded in New York in 2013 to exhibit the shape-shifting power of the human voice. It was initiated by American singer Lucy Dhegrae to display what the human voice is capable of and to give a platform to adventurous vocalists. The festival has now occurred in various locations and this is the first time it has come to Sydney. Carriageworks is the ideal location. Take something familiar and give it an ambitious new twist.
RESONANT BODIES FESTIVAL invites vocalists to curate and perform their own 45 minute sets, with no restrictions on repertoire, style or format. On Saturday night the featured vocalists were Australian artist Mitchell Riley and American artist Ariadne Greif. Continue reading RESONANT BODIES FESTIVAL AT CARRIAGEWORKS→
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.