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Poem for a dried up river : Sydney Festival 2021


Poem for a dried up river : Sydney Festival 2021

  • Date: Wednesday, 6 January 2021 to Sunday, 10 January 2021, Wed 6 - Fri 8: 6pm | Sat 9 & Sun 10: 3pm
  • Venue: Carriageworks — 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh, NSW
  • Series: This event is part of the Sydney Festival 2021 series
  • Tickets: Adult: $39 | Concession: $34 (plus booking fee) — Tickets can be purchased online

Event Details

Struggle, exertion – where does it first show up in the body? In the breath. And that’s how Jane Sheldon’s poem for a dried up river begins: in summer darkness with the sounds of breathing floating over chirping cicadas. Gradually two sopranos emerge from the soundscape, their labour divided – instrument and words. 

This riveting performance melds opera, poetry, physical theatre and art installation in a mesmerising, unique combination. Alice Oswald’s text about a figurine of a naiad trying to coax water from a bed of limestone ‘unfolds like a cry of environmental despair’. Sheldon’s exquisite palette of musical colours plays on contrasts: dry and wet, weak and strong, barren and fecund. Elizabeth Gadsby’s powerful installation mirrors the nymph’s exertions with the unrolling of a 200kg path of clay.  

Jane Sheldon reunites with Sydney Chamber Opera for another collaboration filled with detail and nuance, and a profound sense of connection. 

Runtime: 35 mins

Music Jane Sheldon 
Text Alice Oswald 
Installation Elizabeth Gadsby
Conductor Jack Symonds
Sound Designer Benjamin Carey
Lighting Designer Alexander Berlage
Choreographer Danielle Micich

Further information for this event is available online at the event's website or by phone on (02) 8248 6500 or by email to ticketing@sydneyfestival.org.au

Featured Australian Works

 Poem for a dried up river by Jane Sheldon — World premiere

Featured artists

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