Today, Opera Australia presents the world première of Whiteley, an opera composed by Elena Kats-Chernin with a libretto by Justin Fleming.
It is the composer's fifth opera, after, among others, Iphis (Syndney, December 3, 1997), The Rage of Life (Antwerp, April 24, 2010) and Snow White (Berlin, November 1, 2015).
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. (reproduced from the Opera Australia website)The cast includes baritone Leigh Melrose (Brett Whiteley), soprano Julie Lea Goodwin (Wendy Whiteley), soprano Kate Amos (Older Arkie Whiteley), mezzo Ruth Strutt (Younger Beryl Whiteley), mezzo Dominica Matthews (Older Beryl Whiteley) and bass Richard Anderson (Joel Elenberg). Tahu Matheson conducts the Opera Australia Orchestra and Chorus. David Freeman directs.
The performance should last about 2 hours, including one interval.
The opera is published by Boosey & Hawkes.
The venue is the Joan Sutherland Theatre.