Kate Kelly, the chamber opera co-created by composer Ross James Carey and writer Merrill Findlay in Forbes ten years ago, is to be performed online for a major national opera festival.
The Gertrude Opera Company in Melbourne will perform Kate Kelly for the 2020 Yarra Valley Opera Festival in October.
The Kate Kelly Song Cycle, as the chamber opera was initially called, re-interprets the life of one of Australia’s most iconic women, the youngest sister of bushranger Ned Kelly. It emerged from Merrill’s Kate Kelly Project and was first performed in Forbes in September 2011, as the headline act for the inaugural Kalari-Lachlan River Arts Festival, beside the lagoon in which Kate Kelly’s body was found in 1898.
Gertrude Opera’s artistic director, Linda Thompson says she is excited about her company presenting Kate Kelly. “I looked for a piece that was an Australian woman’s story and this is a little nugget,” she told The Age newspaper. “The music is really exciting.”
The Yarra Valley Opera Festival performance of Kate Kelly will feature Emily Burke as Kate, Andrew Moran as Kate’s husband Bricky Foster, and Michael Lapiña as the grocer Quong Lee, whose aria describes Kate’s life and death in Forbes.
Yarra Valley Opera Festival runs 16-25 October. Kate Kelly will be streamed live from 7pm, Saturday, 24 October. For more information and tickets visit www.gertrudeopera.com.au/kate-kelly-sister-of-ned.
The original Kate Kelly Project was supported, in Forbes, by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund.