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Hear the story behind the opera. Join us 45 minutes before this performance when a member of Opera Australia's artistic team will share their insights into the opera. Held in the Northern Foyer of the Joan Sutherland Theatre, this informal and informative talk will help you to get the most out of your opera experience.
Artist. Rebel. Icon.
He burst onto the international art scene, all golden curls and bravado. He was dynamic, damaged, a big idea and a bold brush. With the vivacious Wendy on his arm, Brett Whiteley was magnetic.
He abhorred straight lines, adored drugs, alcohol, women. He worked in vivid colour and ravishing curves. Heroin was both muse and merciless master. Out of this tumultuous life spilled a messy array of brilliant artworks and astonishing self-reflection.
In 2019, this Australian icon meets two of Australia’s greatest artists in a brand new work for the Australian stage: Whiteley, by Elena Kats-Chernin and Justin Fleming.
Kats-Chernin is peerless among contemporary composers, celebrated for her enormous output and music that bursts with colour, life and tenderness. Fleming is a respected playwright and librettist whose work is renowned for its warmth, wit and poignancy.
Together they’ve created an opera to honour the life and work of a man who could not extricate his talent from his demons.
Production designer Dan Potra’s technology-driven set is an immersive world created from Whiteley’s most famous paintings. Experience the works of a modern master on moving, larger-than-life screens.
Subscribe to the opera in 2019 and come with us on an inspiring journey...
Explore a season full of highlights, charting a course through love and passion and despair (this is opera, after all). You can laugh and revel in extraordinary talent, or gasp your way through ghost stories. Our 2019 season leaves no corner unexplored. Choose three or more productions to unlock a subscriber discount, along with exclusive benefits throughout the year.
|Composed by||Elena Kats-Chernin|
|Libretto by||Justin Fleming|
|Production Designer||Dan Potra|
|Lighting Designer||John Rayment|
|Digital Content||Sean Nieuwenhuis|
|Assistant Director||John Sheedy|
Cast to be announced
Running time: approximately 2 hours, including one interval.
Sung in English with English surtitles.
Brett Whiteley (Australia; England, b.1939, d.1992)
Self portrait in the studio 1976
oil, collage, hair on canvas, 200.5 x 259 cm
Art Gallery of New South Wales
© Wendy Whiteley
Photo: AGNSW, Christopher Snee