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The Speechless Soloists

Premiering at the 2019 Perth Festival, Speechless will be brought to life by four brilliant and versatile soloists. With four very different vocal styles, the opera features one of Australia’s finest interpreters of contemporary operatic repertoire Judith Dodsworth, lead singer of the Australian heavy metal powerhouse High Tension, Karina Utomo, Western Australian experimental vocalist Sage Pbbbt and Persian vocal trailblazer Tara Tiba.

Composer and director Cat Hope says “it is important to me that a contemporary opera represents more styles of music than the classical genre of which it grew. Judith is an operatic voice, Karina comes from a heavy metal background, Tara is an Iranian classical singer who studies jazz, and Sage is an improvisor influenced by a wide range of practices. The musical director, Aaron Wyatt, is a Noongar man – it was important that an Australian Indigenous person took a leadership role in the rendering of the work.

Meet the soloists, and then see them in action 26 February to 3 March at the newest arts venue in Perth, the Sunset Heritage Precinct – don’t miss out on this one.

Speechless Artists

 

Rachael Dease in Sunset

Presented by STRUT, in association with Tura, as part of the 2019 Perth Festival, Maxine Doyle’s visceral site-specific dance-theatre work Sunset will feature an original sound score by renowned WA composer and sound designer Rachael Dease.

Known for her award-winning song cycles City of Shadows and From A Small Distant World, and as a formidable front woman, Dease returns to the live string quartet in combination with her immersive sound design and live vocals. Her haunting and uplifting sound score will be heard throughout the rooms and hall of the Sunset Heritage Precinct as the performers move through the space, guiding the audience in a truly immersive visual and sonic experience.

The new original score has been made possible by Tura, with support from The Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding advisory body.

Tura would also like to acknowledge donors to the Sound Connections philanthropic campaign for their generous contribution to this project.


SUNSET

7 FEB – 17 FEB 2019
SUNSET HERITAGE PRECINCT
$25-$65 (+BF) TICKETS

Leave your comfort zone and enter a mysterious world where you wander with the spirits of Perth’s colourful past. Discover forgotten secrets in the dusty shadows of one of our city’s most intriguing and significant heritage sites – Sunset down by the iconic Swan River.

From the renowned UK director-choreographer Maxine Doyle (co-director of Punchdrunk’s The Drowned Man, Sleep No More) comes a visceral dance-theatre performance that is epic in reach but intimate in experience. Inspired by the riverside precinct’s rich and unique history and the bushland that surrounds it, a stunning team of Australian creatives, including the indomitable Racheal Dease, transform the former Sunset Old Men’s Home into a waiting room between worlds, where classical myth collides with WA stories and local heroes can waltz with gods.

Find out more about Sunset and book tickets now from Perth Festival.

Production Partners
STRUT Dance
Perth Festival

A Perth Festival co-commission and world premiere.

Image by Simon Pynt.

Cat on Speechless

In February 2019 Tura will be producing and presenting the 2019 Perth Festival World Premiere season of award-winning composer Cat Hope’s wordless opera, Speechless.

Speechless is a personal response to the 2014 Human Rights Commission report ‘The Forgotten Children: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention’. Through a vocal language beyond words, Speechless is a channel for Hope to come to terms with the things she sees perpetrated in her name by those in positions of power.

Cat says of the project that “this is a project that had a philosophical birth rather than a musical one… I wanted to put on the record the way I felt about certain things, and I realised that the grand form of opera was the only way for this philosophical thing to come in.”

“Speechless is a wordless opera, that is driven by thematic materials form the Human Rights Commissions children in detentions report that was tabled by Gillian Triggs in 2014. I think that was my year of realising that things were not quite right. Both when it came to women’s position or opportunities in Australia but also a feeling of disempowerment generated by some of the things that were happening in our government, particularly around asylum seekers and children in detention. I felt helpless in the face of these things – what could I offer as an experimental music composer? Some friends encouraged me to try and address my response through my work. The first attempt was After Julia (about Julia Gillard’s term in office), and Speechless was the next. Speechless is an hour long, and features four soloists, community choirs, and the Australian Bass Orchestra – an orchestra of instruments all playing below middle C.

My notation leaves some choices to the musicians, but strictly dictates other things to them. Whilst Speechless is my own personal response to this problem, I want to be clear that I’m not trying to speak on the behalf of anyone, so I’m really keen that the orchestra, the choir and the singers are a part of the process of the project, they have a quite a significant contribution to the makeup of this piece.

When people know what the work is about and have the context, it can be a very moving experience.

And like all opera, it deals with the big issues of our time. It’s a large form project with an opportunity to make something, I hope, significant to music more broadly.”


SPEECHLESS

26 FEB – 3 MAR 2019
SUNSET HERITAGE PRECINCT
$25-$49 (+BF) TICKETS

Speechless features one of Australia’s finest interpreters of contemporary operatic repertoire Judith Dodsworth, lead singer of the Australian heavy metal powerhouse High Tension, Karina Utomo, Western Australian experimental vocalist Sage Pbbbt and Persian vocal trailblazer Tara Tiba, with a combined community choir of 30 voices, and the 30-piece multi-instrumental Australian Bass Orchestra.

This 2019 Perth Festival World Premiere season is designed specifically for the new Sunset Heritage Arts Precinct.

Find out more about Speechless and book tickets now from Perth Festival.

Production Partners
Perth Festival
Monash University

Looking Forward to 2019

A huge thanks from Tura to all of our supporters, contributors and artists.

2018 has been one of our biggest year’s yet, Tura undertook two national tours, three Artist in Residencies in the remote communities of Warmun (East Kimberley) and Fitzroy Crossing (Kimberley), produced two major regional and remote tours, travelling to eight remote communities and six regional centres throughout the Kimberley and Pilbara, as well as our annual program of concerts, installations and events.

Highlights of 2018 include The Summers Night Project, with three young women composers who were mentored by acclaimed composers to create three new works that were toured to Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide, the week-long Residency with Ensemble Offspring with concerts in Perth and Albany and a workshop with young and emerging composers, and the sold-out Kimberley Echoes Tour, that delivered concerts and schools workshops in Darwin, the Kimberley and the Pilbara.

With critically acclaimed projects across WA and Australia, this year has offered a diverse and broad program of innovative and ear-opening experiences.

2018 saw the start of the Kimberley Indonesia Project with Indonesian artist Ubiet Raseuki travelling to Broome and the peninsula to collaborate with local Indigenous artists. The iMprov Program developed further with artist workshops, inviting local, national and international artists to work alongside young and emerging Perth composers in an open and experimental space.

We were proud to be the recipient of the APRA AMCOS | AMC Art Music Award for Excellence by an Organisation for our 30 year contribution to Australian sound art. And we were pleased to welcome our new Patron of the Tura Regional Program, Wayne Martin AC QC.

Tura looks forward to presenting the world premiere of Cat Hope’s new experimental opera, Speechless, at the 2019 Perth Festival, paying homage to those rendered speechless through political means. Speechless has been designed specifically for the new Sunset Heritage Arts Precinct – BOOK NOW.

The Tura office will be closed from 21 December to 2 January, but we look forward to seeing you in the new year at one of our events soon.

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Review: In SITU 2018


Nina Levy reviews In SITU, a season of site-specific works from local independent choreographers and composers.

Described as “an intriguing and appealing walk into the unknown”, this season of In SITU was based in and around the East Perth Girls School and former home of the WA Police. Audiences were led through the dark corners, corridors and unseen areas of this historic building.

In SITU was presented by dance makers Kynan Hughes and Emma Fishwick in association with Tura, STRUT Dance and Artrage.

Read the full review here

New Music Network Closure

Tura is sad to hear that the New Music Network has announced its closing at the end of 2018, after 23 years of activity championing new and experimental living music in Australia. A statement was released earlier in November by the NMN Committee about the decision to close the Network.

Fortunately, the New Music Network’s annual Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address will continue on, presented now by the Australian Music Centre.

The New Music Network’s statement can be found on their website.

Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address Transcript

Missed out on the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address or want to revisit it? Cat Hope’s full transcript can be found here.

The Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address is the single more important national forum for contemporary music discourse, which honours one of Australia’s great international composers and provides a platform to discuss important issues facing contemporary music today.

In the 2018 Address, Cat Hope (head of the Sir Zelman Cowan School of Music, Monash University) examines the current situation for music creators in Australia by bringing together some current debates and proposing appropriate actions to improve inclusion and opportunity for all people.

In SITU Composers Announced

Tura New Music are pleased to announce the composers and sound designers for In SITU 2018, an annual performance platform that showcases new short dance works by a range of emerging and experienced independent WA choreographers and composers. Rebecca Riggs-Bennett, Ryan Burge, Steve Paraskos and Dane Yates will work with In SITU dance makers Kynan Hughes and Emma Fishwick and chosen choreographers to create new sound works for original site-specific dance works.

Composers were chosen based on a variety of selection criteria, including artistic merit, consideration of space, program balance, and performance practicality.

IN SITU

The season is from the 29th of November until the 1st of December, and will take place in the surrounds of the East Perth Girls School. In SITU will have the opportunity to occupy many of the internal and external spaces in and around the building.

In SITU is presented by dance makers Kynan Hughes and Emma Fishwick in association with Tura, STRUT Dance and ArtRAGE.

Stay tuned for more information about performance times and tickets.

Ryan Burge, Rebecca Riggs-Bennett, Dane Yates & Steve Paraskos