Australian premiere

Presented by Sydney Festival in association with The Song Company

Music by Kaija Saariaho
Text by Amin Maalouf

Passion and philosophy collide in a glimmering ascent to enlightenment.

Simone Weil bestrode the 20th century as a figure of impossible grace. Acclaimed Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho tells her story through music in this deeply spiritual work, never before seen in Australia.
Saariaho’s score is luminous and coruscating, blending a single incredible soloist with the voices of The Song Company and nineteen virtuoso instrumentalists.

Star soprano Jane Sheldon (The Howling Girls, An Index of Metals) leads the audience through Weil’s extraordinary life, from her rejection of labour during World War II to her exile into self-imposed starvation in protest of the Holocaust’s atrocity. Director Imara Savage and designer Elizabeth Gadsby, the creative team behind the acclaimed Fly Away Peter, return to SCO for this shimmering meditation on defiance in the face of inhumanity.

Jack Symonds

Imara Savage

Set & Costume Design
Elizabeth Gadsby

Lighting Design
Alexander Berlage

Assistant Director
Clemence Williams

Video Artist
Mike Daly

Jane Sheldon

Vocal Ensemble
The Song Company

Alex Norton
Veronique Serret
James Wannan
Mee Na Lojewski
Kirsty McCahon
Lamorna Nightingale
Jane Bishop
Jasper Ly
Jason Noble
Noriko Shimada
Gergely Malyusz
Neil O’Donnell
Callum G’Froerer
Matthew Harrison
Genevieve Lang
Susan Powell
Joshua Hill
Bree van Reyk
Kaylie Melville

La Passion de Simone is published by Chester Music, by kind permission of The Music Sales Group

Watch the trailer



Bay 20, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh


70 minutes

Press Reviews

The Sydney Morning Herald
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“glowing pristine beauty and transcendent iridescence”
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“Bold, uncompromising and musically spectacular… thrilling, mesmerising…extraordinarily rich and rewarding; sensual, strident and stinging.”
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“Once again I’m deeply grateful to Sydney Chamber Opera for staging a work I knew of but never expected to see and which has provoked thinking about opera and form, politics and faith”

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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.