A 2019 Perth Festival World Premiere


Composer & Director Cat Hope
Produced by Tura New Music

“…a deeply moving, almost spiritual experience. It would have been impossible to have remained disconnected from the passion and intensity of this performance.” Limelight Magazine

Speechless, a powerful new opera by award-winning composer Cat Hope, features one of Australia’s foremost interpreters of contemporary opera repertoire Judith Dodsworth, Indonesian vocalist Karina Utomo, throat singing specialist Sage Pbbbt, and Perth soprano Caitlin Cassidy, with a combined community choir of 30 voices and a 30-piece multi-instrumental orchestra. The orchestra features some of Australia’s finest performers including Gabriella Smart (piano), Tristen Parr (cello), Louise Devenish (percussion) and Catherine Ashley (harp).

Speechless is a 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 Hope’s musical exploration of the impact on those rendered speechless through political means.

Whilst following the structure of a conventional opera, Speechless’ unique score is derived from drawings and graphics extracted from the Report.

This World Premiere season is designed specifically for the evocative Sunset Heritage Arts Precinct.

“… when all words fail, music speaks.” Aussie Theatre

Read more about Speechless

Sunset Heritage Precinct
80 Birdwood Parade Dalkeith WA 6009

8pm, 26 Feb – 3 Mar 2019
$25-$49 (+BF) Tickets from Perth Festival


Speechless features one of Australia’s finest interpreters of contemporary vocal repertoire Judith Dodsworth, lead singer of the Australian heavy metal powerhouse High Tension, Karina Utomo, Western Australian experimental vocalist Sage Pbbbt and Perth soprano Caitlin Cassidy, with a combined community choir of 30 voices and the Australian Bass Orchestra.

Read more about the artists

Have a listen to a short snippet from the 2017 Speechless Development Workshop by the Australian Bass Orchestra.


Produced by Tura New Music
Composer and Director Cat Hope
Producer Annalisa Oxenburgh (for Tura New Music)
Musical Director Aaron Wyatt
Sound Designer Guy Smith
Lighting Designer Matthew Adey
Assistant Director Rakini Devi
Costume Designer Alex McQuire
Stage Manager Susan Fenty Studham
Assistant Stage Manager Laura Boynes
Choir Convenor Luke Donohoe


Production Partners
Perth Festival
Monash University

Monash University
The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music at Monash University supports new Australian work and artistic research in music.


Tura acknowledges the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University, CCA Productions, One20 Productions, Audio Technik.

The 2017 workshop of Speechless, produced by Tura New Music, was held in Port Adelaide with the support of Development Partner Vitalstatistix.

Tura acknowledges the essential support of The Bux Foundation, Melissa Parke and Warwick Hemsley, as well as the At the Heart donors to the Sound Connections philanthropic campaign.

Speechless and Tura New Music are supported by the State Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, in association with Lotterywest and The Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding advisory body.

Banner image by Paul Tadday.