A chamber opera in a prologue and one act by Peter Maxwell Davies

Sydney Chamber Opera presents Peter Maxwell Davies’ 1979 opera The Lighthouse, a modern classic of the genre. Based on a true story, this haunting tale of three youthful lighthouse keepers’ isolated descent into madness and mysterious disappearance has all the psychological intensity and suspense to rival Britten’s The Turn of the Screw or Kubrick’s film The Shining.

With a charismatic all-male cast and virtuosic 12-piece chamber orchestra featuring honky-tonk and banjo, SCO tackles chilling music of “abundant atmosphere and menacing momentum” (The Guardian). In 75 electrifying minutes, the composer pushes the instruments and voices to their extremes, ratcheting up the tension in a terrifying climax.

Directed by young theatre sensation Kip Williams (Sydney Theatre Company’s Under Milk Wood  and the 2013 Romeo & Juliet), SCO’s atmospheric production focuses on psychological drama and the uneasy relationship between the three men, with a choreographed movement ensemble of interlocked bodies evoking the turmoil of the sea.

Photography by Louis Dillon-Savage

Jack Symonds

Kip Williams

Set & Costume Design
Michael Hankin

Lighting Design
Nicholas Rayment

Daniel Macey
Mitchell Riley
Alexander Knight

Movement Ensemble
Hannah Barlow
Taryn Brine
Melissa Brownlow
Tom Christophersen
Celeste Furnell
Nick Gell
Courtney Gilbert
Joe Kernahan
Lana Kershaw
Joanna Keyte
Maeve MacGregor
Annabelle McMillan
Graeme McRae
Tim Reuben
Gareth Rickards
Guy Simon
Jasper Whincop

Doretta Balkizas
James Wannan
Mee Na Lojewski
Mark Lipski
Jane Bishop
Peter Smith
Abbey Edlin
Simon Wolnizer
Matthew Harrison
Joseph Littlefield
Stephen Whale
Joshua Hill

Watch showreel



Bay 20, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh


75 minutes

Press Reviews

The Sydney Morning Herald
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“A vital, self-questioning theatrical experience that goes to the heart of what opera ought to be”
The Australian
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“A force to be reckoned with”
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“The company seems to have hit a winning formula”
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“Exceptionally well directed…You will not be able to look away for an instant”
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“A virtually unparalleled feat of theatre, faultlessly realised by this potent company”

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We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and perform. We honour their elders both past and present, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.