Presented by Sydney Chamber Opera, Carriageworks (Sydney) and Arts Centre Melbourne in association
with Melbourne Festival

Music by Elliott Gyger
Libretto by Pierce Wilcox

David Malouf’s novel Fly Away Peter is a contemporary classic. Elliott Gyger is an Australian composer at the height of his powers. They return to World War One in this centenary year to create a profound new contribution to Australian opera, with a libretto by SCO’s Pierce Wilcox.

Jim Saddler is a visionary young birdwatcher thrust into the nightmare of the Western Front. Fly Away Peter travels from a land of life to a panorama of horror through Jim’s voice of delicate insight.

This is a story of the Australian spirit that begins at peace, builds into tragedy, and ends in transcendence.

Jack Symonds

Imara Savage

Set & Costume Design
Elizabeth Gadsby

Lighting Design
Verity Hampson

Movement Director
Lucas Jervies

Mitchell Riley
Brenton Spiteri
Jessica Aszodi

Instruments (Sydney)
James Wannan
Jaan Pallandi
Peter Smith
Alison Evans
Rainer Saville
Matthew Harrison
Alison Pratt

Instruments (Melbourne)
James Wannan
Emma Sullivan
Lloyd Van’t Hoff
Matthew Kneale
Tristram Williams
Jessica Buzbee
Peter Neville

Sydney Chamber Opera wishes to acknowledge the donors who made Fly Away Peter possible

Executive Producer
Kim Williams AM

Martin Dickson
Hon Jane Mathews AO
Prof. Di Yerbury AO

Associate Producers
Andrew Andersons AO
William Brooks & Alasdair Beck,
David Catterns QC
Jennifer Solomon

Production Friends
Stephen Burley SC
Rowena Cowley
Terry Matthews
Wendy Michaels

Production Supporters
Jim Alexander
Roger Cruickshank
Tony Jones
Josephine Key
Robert Mitchell

Watch the show reel



Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne
100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004

Bay 20, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh


70 minutes

Press Reviews

The Australian
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“An impressive achievement”
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“An unqualified triumph”
The Sydney Morning Herald
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“A work of beauty and meaning”
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“Memorable…An intense, symbol-rich reflection”
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“A work of dramatic and musical integrity”
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“Uncompromising vision”
Australian Book Review
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“Intelligence, imagination, and fidelity to the work [makes] great theatre”
Partial Durations
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“A triumph for contemporary opera”
Concrete Playground
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“Changing how we see opera”

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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.