'John Marsden and Shaun Tan's haunting picture book tells a story we all know: a story of colonisation, civilisation and progress — a story about displacement, destruction and culture clash. And in that landscape, it tells a story of hope taking root.
'It's a story for young people, it's a story for old people, it's a story for all of us.
'Opera Australia and Barking Gecko Theatre Company have assembled some of Australia's foremost creative talents to collaborate on a new opera for children and families.
'Gabriela Tylesova's kooky sets and costumes realise Tan's pictures in all of their mystical wonder, while Lally Katz has turned Marsden's spare poetry into an enchanting libretto. To write the score, Kate Miller Heidke: the butterfly-voiced, classically-trained indie-pop singer who is as at home on the charts as she is performing at the Met. As well as composing The Rabbits, Kate will perform in this production.' (Production summary)
An Opera Australia and Barking Gecko Theatre Company co-production. In association with West Australian Opera. Commissioned by Melbourne Festival and Perth International Arts Festival. World premiere at Arts Centre, Melbourne, Playhouse : 9-13 October 2015
LIBRETTIST: Lally Katz
DIRECTOR: John Sheedy
MUSICAL DIRECTOR & MUSICAL ARRANGEMENTS: Iain Grandage
DESIGNER: Gabriela Tylesova
CAST: Including Kate Miller-Heidke
'In 1986, the Adelaide Festival staged an operatic adaptation of Nobel Prize-winning writer Patrick White’s 1957 novel Voss, a pivotal work in the Australian literary canon. The opera, with music by a leading figure of the classical music avant-garde, Richard Meale, and libretto by acclaimed novelist and poet, David Malouf, was conceived in the period leading up to the Bicentennial celebrations in 1988. It certainly tapped into the zeitgeist.' (Introduction)