Categories
Past Productions

The Lighthouse

THE LIGHTHOUSE

A chamber opera in a prologue and one act by Peter Maxwell Davies

Sydney Chamber Opera presents Peter Maxwell Davies’ 1979 opera The Lighthouse, a modern classic of the genre. Based on a true story, this haunting tale of three youthful lighthouse keepers’ isolated descent into madness and mysterious disappearance has all the psychological intensity and suspense to rival Britten’s The Turn of the Screw or Kubrick’s film The Shining.

With a charismatic all-male cast and virtuosic 12-piece chamber orchestra featuring honky-tonk and banjo, SCO tackles chilling music of “abundant atmosphere and menacing momentum” (The Guardian). In 75 electrifying minutes, the composer pushes the instruments and voices to their extremes, ratcheting up the tension in a terrifying climax.

Directed by young theatre sensation Kip Williams (Sydney Theatre Company’s Under Milk Wood  and the 2013 Romeo & Juliet), SCO’s atmospheric production focuses on psychological drama and the uneasy relationship between the three men, with a choreographed movement ensemble of interlocked bodies evoking the turmoil of the sea.

Photography by Louis Dillon-Savage

Conductor
Jack Symonds

Director
Kip Williams

Set & Costume Design
Michael Hankin

Lighting Design
Nicholas Rayment

With
Daniel Macey
Mitchell Riley
Alexander Knight

Movement Ensemble
Hannah Barlow
Taryn Brine
Melissa Brownlow
Tom Christophersen
Celeste Furnell
Nick Gell
Courtney Gilbert
Joe Kernahan
Lana Kershaw
Joanna Keyte
Maeve MacGregor
Annabelle McMillan
Graeme McRae
Tim Reuben
Gareth Rickards
Guy Simon
Jasper Whincop

Instruments
Doretta Balkizas
James Wannan
Mee Na Lojewski
Mark Lipski
Jane Bishop
Peter Smith
Abbey Edlin
Simon Wolnizer
Matthew Harrison
Joseph Littlefield
Stephen Whale
Joshua Hill

Watch showreel

Gallery

VENUE

Carriageworks
Bay 20, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh

duration

75 minutes

Press Reviews

The Sydney Morning Herald
Read More
“A vital, self-questioning theatrical experience that goes to the heart of what opera ought to be”
The Australian
Read More
“A force to be reckoned with”
Bachtrack
Read More
“The company seems to have hit a winning formula”
Artshub
Read More
“Exceptionally well directed…You will not be able to look away for an instant”
Crikey
Read More
“A virtually unparalleled feat of theatre, faultlessly realised by this potent company”
Previous
Next

Keep in touch

General Inquiries ​

Newsletter Sign-up

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.

© 2020 Sydney Chamber Opera | Site designed & built by Anderson Chang

Categories
Past Productions

Through The Gates

THROUGH THE GATES

For one night only on Friday 31 August, Sydney Chamber Opera presents a collaboration with Australia’s most prestigious art festival, the Biennale of Sydney, in a new performance project that explores the art of songwriting in an immersive gallery setting, at the atmospheric Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay.

Created specially for the Biennale Bar, a pop-up bar in Pier 2/3 on Friday nights in August, ‘Through the Gates’ is a semi-staged song cycle that unfolds amid the dramatic installations of Belgian artist Honoré δ’O. Visitors can enjoy a drink and peruse the exhibition as they take in a selection of songs by some of history’s greatest songwriters, from Bach to Shostakovich. ‘Through the Gates’ is performed by three singers and three instrumentalists and is choreographed by Kip Williams, who returns to SCO fresh from directing Under Milk Wood for Sydney Theatre Company.

Conductor-Piano
Jack Symonds

Director
Kip Williams

Production Design

Michael Hankin

Lighting Design
Nicholas Rayment

With
Anna Dowsley
Emily Edmonds
Mitchell Riley
Madeleine Slaughter
Matt McGuigan

Gallery

VENUE

Biennale Bar
Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay

duration

60 minutes

Keep in touch

General Inquiries ​

Newsletter Sign-up

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.

© 2020 Sydney Chamber Opera | Site designed & built by Anderson Chang

Categories
Past Productions

In the Penal Colony

IN THE PENAL COLONY

An opera by Philip Glass
Libretto by Rudolph Wurlitzer
Based on the original story by Franz Kafka

A distinguished visitor arrives in an unnamed place to witness an execution. The procedure is expected to be efficient, quiet and anonymous, administered by an elaborate machine. But torture is a messy business, and not everything goes according to plan. At what point does the silence of the visitor become immoral? When does non-intervention become a crime?

With the Australian premiere of In the Penal Colony, Sydney Chamber Opera presents the first Philip Glass opera ever to be performed in Sydney. Glass, the pioneering American minimalist and cult figure who celebrates his 75th birthday this year, set this powerful and confronting short story by Franz Kafka to music in 2000. The highly charged claustrophobia of Glass’s hypnotic repetition resonates powerfully with Kafka’s nightmarish vision of imprisonment and execution. Featuring just two singers, one actor and a string quintet, In the Penal Colony is as intimate and intense as opera gets.

© 2000 Dunvagen Music Publishers Inc. Used by Permission.

Conductor
Huw Belling

Director
Imara Savage

Set & Costume Design

Michael Hankin

Lighting Design
Verity Hampson

With
Paul Goodwin-Groen
Pascal Herington
Anthony Hunt

Chamber ensemble

Gallery

VENUE

The Parade Playhouse, Parade Theatres
Anzac Pde, Kensington

duration

75 minutes

Press Reviews

Sydney Morning Herald
Read More
“It is a tribute to the Sydney Chamber Opera… that in Philip Glass’s 75th year one of this true innovator’s operas has finally been performed in Sydney”
Operainsider
Read More
“Yet another phenomenal success for the relatively new, edgy and vibrant Sydney Chamber Opera. Long may they flourish…”
Aussietheatre
Read More
“As gripping as it is haunting”
Previous
Next

Keep in touch

General Inquiries ​

Newsletter Sign-up

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.

© 2020 Sydney Chamber Opera | Site designed & built by Anderson Chang

Categories
Past Productions

I Have Had Enough

I HAVE HAD ENOUGH

A staged double bill

J. S. Bach: Cantata No. 82 “Ich Habe Genug”
Jack Symonds: Nunc Dimittis (world premiere)

“I Have Had Enough” is a daring new chamber opera that combines a J S Bach classic with a contemporary Australian composition to create an entirely original work based on the biblical Canticle of Simeon. It is a staging of two versions of the Canticle: one from the eighteenth century, Bach’s Cantata No. 82, “Ich Habe Genug,” and one from today, Jack Symonds’s “Nunc Dimittis.” In each half, a nameless character is about to die, and “I Have Had Enough” probes this mysterious process.

Director Kip Williams joins Sydney Chamber Opera to stage a bold and contemporary conversation between these two non-operas. Unfolding in the Parade Playhouse, NIDA, “I Have Had Enough” is a rumination on death, a collision between eighteenth-century Christianity in Bach’s anonymous libretto and twenty-first-century existentialism in Symonds’s adaptation of that libretto, and an examination of our history of cruelty and our unending battle for power.

Conductor
Huw Belling

Director
Kip Williams

Set & Costume Design
Emma Kingsbury

Lighting Design
Nicholas Rayment

With
Anna Dowsley
Mitchell Riley
Alexandra Aldrich
Michele Durman
Gabriel Fancourt
Amanda McGregor
James Wannan

Nunc Dimittis” is co-commissioned by the Copyright Agency Ltd Cultural Fund and Rev Dr Arthur Bridge AM on behalf of Ars Musica Australis. This production is proudly supported by Professor Emerita Di Yerbury AO.

Watch the trailer

Gallery

VENUE

The Parade Playhouse, NIDA
Anzac Parade, Kensington

duration

70 minutes

Press Reviews

Sydney Morning Herald
Read More
“An object lesson in the creation of arresting theatre”

Keep in touch

General Inquiries ​

Newsletter Sign-up

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.

© 2020 Sydney Chamber Opera | Site designed & built by Anderson Chang

Categories
Past Productions

The Cunning Little Vixen

THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN

By Leoš Janáček

The Cunning Little Vixen is a classic modernist opera. A multi-layered parable of the inevitable cycles of nature, birth and death, it is striking yet poignant. Jonathan Dove’s adaptation for chamber forces exposes Janacek’s remarkably modern conception: tessellations of lithe and sinuous fragments of music drive the circle of life.

Julie Goodwin, acclaimed star of high-profile national tours of West Side Story (2010-11) and The Phantom of the Opera (2007-9), leads a cast of sexy foxes, bitchy hens and diva dogs in director Kate Gaul and conductor Jack Symonds’s lean, modernist production, performed in a new, tasteful, English translation. Vixen has been known to inspire romantic nostalgia and nature-worship but here Gaul and Symonds are bringing her into the twenty-first century.

“I can’t sit and watch all this conservatism… I’d rather bury myself alive”- Vixen

Conductor
Jack Symonds

Director
Kate Gaul

Set & Costume Design
Hanna Sandgren

Lighting Design
Luiz Pampolha

With
Julie Goodwin
Bryony Dwyer
Alexander Knight
Simon Gilkes
Ashley Giles,
Anna Dowsley
Sylvie Humphries
Jared Lillehagen
Elli Green
Sarah Briety
Daniel Nicholson
Maria Hemphill
Elissa Tran
Marisa Panzarin
Agnes Sarkis
Amanda Stephens-Lee

Children’s Chorus
Orchestra

Gallery

VENUE

Carriageworks
Bay 20, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh

duration

1 hour 40 minutes
plus interval

Press Reviews

The Sydney Morning Herald
Read More
“Lively minds, promising voices and a clear musical and theatrical vision”
StageNoise
Read More
“The Vixen is cunning and so is this production.”
TimeOut
Read More
“A big ol’ wintertime hug"
Artshub
Read More
“Sydney Chamber Opera continues to give opera a makeover”
Theatrepeople
Read More
“The cast impresses across the board”
Previous
Next
Categories
Past Productions

Notes From Underground

notes from underground

Opera in seven scenes by Jack Symonds
Libretto by Pierce Wilcox
(after the Dostoyevsky novella)

Dostoevsky’s “Notes from Underground” is daring and wild. Set in colourful, torturous St Petersburg, it is a pessimistic indictment of the weaknesses of human will, containing one of the most extraordinary central characters in nineteenth century literature. Spiritually destitute, this man rages manically about himself, and then goes on to flesh out his soliloquy with anecdotes about the events ‘aboveground’ leading to his eventual retreat ‘underground’ as he rejects society and human relationships.

Acclaimed director Netta Yashchin stages a bold new operatic adaptation of “Notes from Underground” by Jack Symonds, to a libretto by Pierce Wilcox, for Sydney Chamber Opera. This adaptation finds the links between the underground tirade and the aboveground narrative and draws them simultaneously together. We can’t read the novel’s two halves at once, but music can fold time; it can fuse it, freeze it. Through music we can hear the two halves together, and so the opera is born: past and present in confrontation.

Conductor
Jack Symonds

Director
Netta Yashchin

Lighting Design

Charles Coy

Choreography
Dymphna Carew

With
Mitchell Riley
Morgan Pearse
Anna Yun
Nicole Thomson
Anthony Hunt
Anthony Taufa
Matthew Hopkins
Daniel Nemes
David Hansen

Gallery

VENUE

Cell Block Theatre
Forbes St, Darlinghurst

duration

90 minutes

Press Reviews

The Sydney Morning Herald
Read More
“From every point of view – artistic, musical, theatrical and logistical – this was an ambitious undertaking, impressively realised…Gripping and earthy…it was an auspicious launch”
Limelight
Read More
“A brave and triumphant debut for Sydney Chamber Opera.”
Previous
Next

Keep in touch

General Inquiries ​

Newsletter Sign-up

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.

© 2020 Sydney Chamber Opera | Site designed & built by Anderson Chang