By Jack Symonds & Louis Garrick

World Premiere

The world’s oldest poem. Opera’s most cutting-edge artists.

Opera Australia, Sydney Chamber Opera and Carriageworks present Gilgamesh, in association with Australian String Quartet and Ensemble Offspring.

The ancient and contemporary collide to dazzling effect in this world premiere.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is humanity’s oldest epic written poem. Emerging from ancient Mesopotamian mythology, it tells of a restless young king who, through experiences of love and loss, becomes a better person. His unexpected love for a half-man, half-animal leads him wide-eyed into mysterious realms.

Gilgamesh’s story sings to us across millennia, and this brand-new opera uncovers all that remains strikingly relevant: its approach to mortality, sexuality and our relationship with nature. This is the first opera in English based upon this foundational part of civilisation.

Composed by Sydney Chamber Opera Artistic Director Jack Symonds and brought to Carriageworks’ vast performance space by visionary director Kip Williams (Sydney Theatre Company’s The Picture of Dorian Gray), Gilgamesh is an epic that must be experienced.

Singing scorpions share the stage with a Bull of Heaven and oracles interpreting the flood which swept the Earth.

This is Opera Australia’s first collaboration with Sydney Chamber Opera, a company renowned for presenting “an astonishing new vision of what contemporary opera can achieve” (Time Out). Two outstanding chamber music ensembles bring a collective virtuosity to this colourful new score: Australian String Quartet and Ensemble Offspring.

Symonds conducts a cast of Australian contemporary opera specialists. Jeremy Kleeman and Mitchell Riley play Gilgamesh and the beast Enkidu, joined by Jane Sheldon, Jessica O’Donoghue and Daniel Szesiong Todd.

Jack Symonds

Louis Garrick

Jack Symonds

Kip Williams

Set Designer
Elizabeth Gadsby

Costume Designer
David Fleischer

Lighting Designer
Amelia Lever-Davidson

Electronics & Sound Designer
Benjamin Carey


Jeremy Kleeman

Mitchell Riley

Jane Sheldon

Jessica O’Donoghue

Daniel Szesiong Todd


Australian String Quartet

Ensemble Offspring

Opera Australia, Sydney Chamber Opera and Carriageworks present Gilgamesh, in association with Australian String Quartet and Ensemble Offspring.













Date & TIME

September & October

26 Sep – 7:30 pm
28 Sep – 3:00 pm
30 Sep – 7:30 pm
2 Oct – 7:30 pm
4 Oct – 7:30 pm
5 Oct – 7:30 pm


Bay 17
245 Wilson St Eveleigh
NSW 2016


Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one interval.

TICKET prices

Tickets from $79

Single ticket pre-sale opens
Wed, 29 Nov

General sale opens
Tue, 5 Dec

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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.