​3 new Australian operas in South Australia

New Australian works might not be the first thing that spring to mind when opera is mentioned, but the State Opera of South Australia is currently working on three.

​3 new Australian operas in South Australia


On Saturday 8 February the company will be presenting a working version of Act Two of a new AustralianCloudstreet – the Opera to an invited audience.

Over a two-week period, 15 singers have been workshopping the second act of the opera in SOSA’s Opera Studio – Act One of the work was presented in Sydney, in workshop, in 2012.

Cloudstreet has music and lyrics by George Palmer (and Tim Winton), directed by Gale Edwards, with musical direction by Timothy Sexton.

CEO and Artistic Director, Timothy Sexton, said: ‘SOSA is planning to present the world premiere of the complete opera in late 2015 or early 2016 in what promises to be a very significant event on the national opera calendar.

‘The aim of the workshop process is to test the structure of the Act, in anticipation of it being taken through to its final incarnation.’

In June this year, SOSA, in partnership with SINGular Productions, will hold a one week-long workshop on the development ofInnocence Lost – a new Australian opera adapted from Stephen Orr’s bookTime’s Long Ruin.

The book was inspired by the events surrounding the disappearance of the Beaumont children in Adelaide in 1966.

Libretto and concept of Innocence Lost is by Adam Goodburn with music by Anne Cawrse. This project was recently awarded Arts SA’s Major Commissions grant for 2014 and will be premiered in Adelaide in either 2016 or 2017.

Finally, in November 2014, SOSA will workshop and present two scenes from a new work based on South Australian Aboriginal mythology –Ngurunderi – Opera on the Lake.

With music and text by Tim Fatchen, this work draws upon the mythology surrounding the mouth of the River Murray and the lower lakes and Coorong region.

‘This work is being developed in collaboration with the Ngurunderi people of the lower Murray River and will be presented in sections over the next four to five years, with the eventual aim of a complete performance on the River Murray in 2018/2019,’ Timothy said.

It involves both Indigenous and non-Indigenous performers and features original music for orchestra, chorus and soloists.