The Howling Girls

World premiere

by Damien Ricketson and Adena Jacobs

In the weeks following Sept 11, five young women present separately to hospitals in New York with identical symptoms. They are unable to swallow, and believe that some debris or body part from the destruction has lodged in their throats. The surgeon who examines them finds no obstruction.

The Howling Girls is a new chamber opera dissecting the medium and metaphor of the voice, its loss and attempted reconstitution. A solo voice constricted, wheezing, stammering, in decay, a teenage chorus of howling girls, an absent mass, an unearthly theremin, a spectacle of fragmented bodies and voices. A sublime aural and perceptual encounter.

Damien Ricketson

Musical Director
Jack Symonds

Adena Jacobs

Set & Costume Design
Eugyeene Teh

Lighting Design
Jenny Hector

Sound Design
Bob Scott

Jane Sheldon

The House that Dan Built
Grace Campbell
Kittu Hoyne
Kiri Jenssen
Emily Pincock,
Jayden Selvakumaraswamy
Sylvie Woodhouse

The Howling Girls is supported by Creative Partnerships Australia through Plus1 

stream now



Bay 20, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh


60 minutes

Press Reviews

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“This is the pinnacle of their [Sydney Chamber Opera’s] daring provocations and an essential work for anybody wanting to experience the cutting edge of the operatic art form.”
Audrey Journal
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"...The Howling Girls coils around the listener like some impossibly ancient Siren song.”
The Sydney Morning Herald
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“… a remarkable tour-de-force”

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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.