Elena Kats-Chernin opera “Whitely” to be premiered next month

June 6, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
Read on for article

Opera Australia’s newly commissioned work about the turbulent life of iconic Australian artist Brett Whiteley and his vivacious wife Wendy will have its world premiere at the Sydney Opera House on 15 July 2019.

Simply titled Whiteley, this keenly anticipated production brings together some of Australia’s finest creative talents with director David Freeman at the helm, celebrated composer Elena Kats-Chernin, multi-award-winning playwright Justin Fleming and conductor Tahu Matheson, OA’s highly respected head of music.

Elena Kats-Chernin

Production designer Dan Potra who wowed audiences with his Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour Turandot set, is joining forces with internationally renowned video designer Sean Nieuwenhuis to deliver what is expected to be a spectacular stage display, creating an immersive world of Whiteley, incorporating some of his celebrated artworks and emotive graphics on the huge LED screens.

Whiteley is the third new production in OA’s digital season, that features twelve of the 7m high, suspended LED screens, choreographed to move seamlessly around the stage, creating a visual landscape that needs to be seen to be believed, and taking opera to a whole new level.

Taking on the challenging task of playing such well documented, real-life characters will be English baritone and highly acclaimed interpreter of contemporary opera, Leigh Melrose playing Brett andAustralia’s sweetheart soprano Julie Lea Goodwin who recently wowed the audience as Maria inWest Side Story will play Wendy.

OA Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini is thrilled to be presenting a new Australian work that he believes people will actually want to see.

“I think we’ve brought together the best possible team to realise this story, Elena Kats-Chernin in particular is a national treasure and I know her music will resonate with audiences.

“It’s important that we continue to tell Australian stories and create new works – as an art form we have to keep moving forward with the way we present opera and combining this story with our new digital staging, I’m confident it will attract new people to our audience,” said Terracini.

Performance information Evenings at 7.30pm

July 15, 18, 20, 24, 30

Saturday Matinee at 1.00pm

July 27

Running time

Approximately 2 hours, including one interval. Performed in English with English surtitles.


Adult tickets from $47 (fees may apply)

Group and concession prices available for most performances.

Student Rush available for most performances: $50 (fees may apply)

Opera Australia Box Office (02) 9318 8200 www.opera.org.au


One Response to “Elena Kats-Chernin opera “Whitely” to be premiered next month”
  1. MICHAEL KINO says:

    Any chance of this coming to Melbourne ?

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.