Brett Dean



Bliss is the story of Harry Joy, the MD of an advertising company who returns to consciousness after a near-death experience – and sees his life in a new light. His wife is having an affair with his business partner; the company for which he works is selling cancer-inducing chemicals; his son (a drug dealer) and his daughter (a communist) are having an incestuous relationship. Harry escapes into the arms of Honey, a prostitute and healer, in whose company he eventually finds solace – but not before his family has self-destructed, in some cases quite literally.

The coruscating story of Bliss is brought to life in all its vivid and surreal reality by Amanda Holden’s libretto and Brett Dean’s score – resulting in one of the most engaging contemporary operas to emerge in recent years. This recording, made at the world-premiere season in Sydney prior to acclaimed performances throughout Europe, is made available here for the first time and is an indispensable record of one the most talked-about cultural events of our time. Peter Coleman-Wright stars as Harry Joy alongside a brilliant cast.

Music by Brett Dean; libretto by Amanda Holden; after the novel by Peter Carey.

3 CD set

Peter Coleman-Wright Harry Joy, MD of an advertising agency

Merlyn Quaife Betty Joy, his wife

Lorina Gore Honey B, his lover

Barry Ryan Alex Duval, his friend and colleague

David Corcoran David, his son

Taryn Fiebig Lucy, his daughter

Kanen Breen Johnny Davis, his colleague, Betty’s lover

Shane Lowrencev Reverend Des / Police Officer / ‘Nurse’

Henry Choo Aldo / Nigel Clunes

Milijana Nikolic Mrs Dalton, asylum manager

Jane Parkin Nurse

Teresa La Rocca Nurse

Stephen Smith Police Officer / Betty’s Doctor

Malcolm Ede Neighbour / Asylum Doctor

Erkki Veltheim Onstage Violinist


Opera Australia Chorus

Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra

Conducted by Elgar Howarth