Owen Wingrave

Australian Stage Premiere

Opera in two acts, Op. 85 by Benjamin Britten
Libretto by Myfanwy Piper

Benjamin Britten is the most important British composer of the twentieth century, and is the greatest composer of opera in English. Based on a Henry James ghost story, Owen Wingrave is a statement of Britten’s lifelong pacifism. Composed during the Vietnam War, it is the story of a young soldier from an eminent military family whose anti-war instincts lead him to rebel against his upbringing. Desperate to keep his would-be bride and prove he isn’t a coward, he is forced to confront the ghosts of his ancestry.

The music is Britten at his refined, luminous best, with influences ranging from Gamelan to twelve-tone techniques. Imara Savage returns to Sydney Chamber Opera to direct the work’s Australian stage premiere.

Jack Symonds

Imara Savage

Set & Costume Design
Katren Wood

Lighting Design
Ross Graham

Morgan Pearse
Georgia Bassingthwaighte
Rowena Cowley
Emily Edmonds
Paul Ferris
Pascal Herington
Simon Lobelson
Kornelia Perchy

Boys’ choir
Boys from Trinity Preparatory School Choir

Mark Agyagasi
Nathan Fok
Massimo Ianni
Alan Kurien
Richard Lee
Shraven Suriyanarayanan
Peter Taurian

Movement ensemble
Tom Christophersen
Luke Holmes
Brenden Hooke
Heath Ivey-Law
Tim Kemp
Ryan Knight
Liam Nunan
Cody Ross
Guy Simon
Edward Skaines

Rebecca Gill
Emma Jardine
James Wannan
Mathisha Panagoda
Steven Adler
Jane Bishop
Alex Fontaine
Peter Smith
Long Nguyen
Michael Wray
Emma Bolton
Milo Dodd
Joshua Hill
William Jackson
Stephen Whale



Bay 20, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh


100 minutes

Press Reviews

The Sydney Morning Herald
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“A compelling and tautly structured dramatic statement”
The Australian
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“There was no weak link anywhere”
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“Potent, intimate music drama”
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“A perfect marriage of form and content, and about as good as a night at the opera gets. ”

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General Information

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.