Imara Savage is a director and dramaturg with a cross disciplinary practice, working across opera, ballet, film, installation, theatre & performance art in both the Australian and international festival market and within State theatre companies.
She is the currently undertaking a creative residency with Sydney Chamber Opera focusing on the creation of new work alongside designer Elizabeth Gadsby, lighting designer/director Alexander Berlage and filmmaker Mike Daly.
In 2022 the team lead the world premiere of Mary Finsterer and Tom Wright’s Antartica, presented by SCO and leading Dutch new music ensemble Asko|Schönberg in the Holland Festival. (June, Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ, Amsterdam), followed by a second season at the 2023 Sydney Festival.
In 2022 the same creative team presented an Australian-first staging of Benjamin Britten’s Canticles, interwoven with the Australian premiere of Sydney-born composer Luke Styles’ response to them, Awakening Shadow, in a co-presentation with Carriageworks.
This award-winning creative team last collaborated in 2019 for the SCO/Sydney Festival production of Kaija Saariaho’s La Passion de Simone, described by Time Out as “bold, uncompromising and musically spectacular… extraordinarily rich and rewarding.”
In 2023 Imara Savage will also work with SCO on the development of new works by two leading Australian composers.
Other work for Sydney Chamber Opera includes the premiere production of Elliott Gyger’s Fly Away Peter (adapted from the novel by David Malouf) which was nominated for a Helpmann Award for Best Opera and toured to Melbourne Festival, Philip Glass’ In the Penal Colony and Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave.
Imara’s collaboration with The Australian Ballet and choreographer Lucas Jervies continues in 2023, after previously having worked as dramaturg on Spartacus for The Australian Ballet (& Finnish National Ballet in 2021).
Imara will also direct for Sydney Theatre Company in 2023, in a new adaptation of the Seagull By Andrew Upton with Sigrid Thornton in the title role.
Imara was the resident director at Sydney Theatre Company between 2016-2018 and the Richard Wherret Fellow in 2014. She was the first Australian woman to have a premiere production of a new work in the Roslyn Packer Theatre with her acclaimed adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan. This production featured Sarah Snook in the title role and received multiple Helpmann nominations.
Other productions for the company include; Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls, Andrew Bovell’s After Dinner, Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal, Moira Buffini’s Dinner, Colm Toibin’s The Testament of Mary, and Noel Coward’s Hayfever.
Imara’s work with Belvoir and the State Theatre Company of South Australia/ Adelaide Festival includes the Helpmann Award winning production of Anne Washburn’s Mr Burns and Clare Barron’s Dance Nation.
Earlier in 2022, Imara undertook a director attachment for Season 3 of the television series BUMP with Roadshow Rough Diamond and the ABC.