Breaking Glass

World Premiere Co-presented with Carriageworks

Quadruple bill of

Her Dark Marauder by Georgia Scott
Commute by Peggy Polias
The Tent by Josephine Macken
The Invisible Bird by Bree van Reyk

Read the Directors’ & Composers’ notes here

Four women weave new worlds from music.

Women have always starred in opera, but with the contours of their lives scored by men. In Breaking Glass, the brilliant composers Peggy Polias, Josephine Macken, Georgia Scott and Bree van Reyk, seize the stage and share the stories they have always wanted to tell.

In partnership with the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Composing Women Program, SCO presents a quadruple bill of their new one-act operas.

Commute transforms the saga of Odysseus into the prickling unease of a modern woman’s walk home at night. The Tent creates a landscape of pulsating terror from Margaret Atwood’s knife-sharp prose and the tiniest fragments of wounded sound. In Her Dark Marauder, Sylvia Plath’s poetry inspires a woman’s battle for her identity in a spirit-crushing world. The Invisible Bird takes the true story of a rare breed of Australian parrot struggling for survival and renders it a dazzling journey to emancipation.

These world premieres are directed by Clemence Williams and Artistic Associate Danielle Maas, two women determined to smash open an expanse of possibility for operatic storytelling.

Breaking Glass is a new future for opera.

Photography by Daniel Boud

Jack Symonds

Danielle Maas
Clemence Williams

Set & Costume Design
Charles Davis

Lighting Design
Alexander Berlage

AV Design
David Bergman

Sound Design
Ben Carey

Writer & Dramaturg
Pierce Wilcox

Assistant Conductor
Huw Belling

Production Manager
Jason Thelwell

Stage Management
Ellen Castles
Ayah Tayeh

Jessica O’Donoghue 
Jane Sheldon
Mitchell Riley
Simon Lobelson

James Wannan
Ben Ward
Lamorna Nightingale
Jason Noble
Alison Pratt

‘The Tent’ is proudly supported by & dedicated to
Penelope Seidler AM

‘Commute’ is proudly supported by & dedicated to
Prof Di Yerbury AO

Anonymous (1)
John Barrer
Neil Burns
Martin Dickson AM & Susie Dickson
The Johnson Family Foundation through the Myer Foundation
The Russel Mills Foundation
The Sydney Community Foundation’s Women Composers Fund and its associated donors

Associate Producers
Jim Alexander & Kathir Ponnusamy
Andrew Andersons AO
Gil Appleton
John Kaldor
James Williams

stream now



Bay 20, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh


1 hour 20 minutes

Press Reviews

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"..This is a major achievement and another feather in the cap of Australia’s most inspirational modern opera company."
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“Sydney Chamber Opera creates a riveting online experience with works by four female composers.”
The Sydney Morning Herald
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Though conceived as a live rather than virtual experience, the internet version retained the creative energy and originality.

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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.