A 2019 Perth Festival World Premiere


Composer/Director Cat Hope
Produced by Tura New Music

Imagine a world where you have no voice. Is it this world?

In contemporary life, some people find themselves silenced; legally, politically or culturally. Speechless – a powerful new opera by award-winning composer, Cat Hope – 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 see perpetrated in her name by those in positions of power.

While following the structure of conventional opera, Speechless’ unique score is derived from drawings and graphics extracted from the Report and performed using networked iPads. This World Premiere season is designed specifically for the new Sunset Heritage Arts Precinct.

Immerse yourself in a compelling, courageous and visceral sonic world.

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

“…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

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 expatriate vocal trailblazer Tara Tiba with a combined community choir of 30 voices and the Australian Bass Orchestra.

Read more about the artists


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 Matt 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.


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.

Image by Paul Tadday.