Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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New works from opera company for social change

On the evening of July 30, The Cooperative staged the Australian premiere of Émilie, a monodrama by Kaija Saariaho and Amin Maalouf. This complex and surprising work explored the life and final writings of Émilie du Châtelet, an extraordinary 18th-century scholar who died in 1749 due to complications during childbirth.

Under the baton of conductor Joanna Drimatis, in the surrounds of Pitt Street Uniting Church, this powerful work gave a haunting voice to women’s experiences of despair.

The Cooperative is a Sydney-based arts company founded to stage productions of new, rare and canonical works, which are impactful, relevant and elicit social change. The company’s mission is to create and champion art to inspire change, and to explore and confront contemporary social issues through opera.

The Cooperative’s next production will be Benjamin Britten’s two-act opera, The Turn of the Screw, written in 1954 with a libretto by Myfanwy Piper.

Exploring themes of lost innocence, the opera recounts the terrifying tale of a governess and the two young children in her care in an imposing mansion in the English countryside. The role of the governess, a sensitive, naively emotional and fiercely zealous young woman, explores the destructive power of declining mental health and the volatility of sanity.

This chamber opera is a compelling psychological thriller based on the famous ghost story by Henry James. Tickets will go on sale soon.

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