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Victory Over the Sun : Opera in six scenes

by Huw Belling and Pierce Wilcox (2016)

Work Overview

In 1913, the Russian Futurists unleashed this dizzying piece of canonical apocrypha: a psychedelic proto-science fiction saga of time-travelling revolutionaries and singing weaponry, set against a backdrop that included an early draft of the avant-garde painter Malevich's iconic Black Square. The text: untranslatable. The music: lost to history. Alongside Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author, it is one of the few artistic works whose premiere provoked a riot.

The 20th Biennale of Sydney brought together Sydney Chamber Opera's Huw Belling and visionary Sydney artist Justene Williams to make a new Victory for the 21st century. This is a work of passionate strangeness for the digital age that shows us worlds the Futurists could never have imagined.

Drones soar, history collapses, and a pair of strongwomen battle over humanity's fate in a glorious dream of tomorrow.

Welcome to the new future.

Work Details

Year: 2016

Instrumentation: 2 Baritones, soprano, mezzo-soprano, chorus, 3 actors, synthesiser/theremin/referee whistle, piccolo/alto flute, viola/viola d'dmore (tuned in D minor), 5-string fretless electric bass guitar (with effects pedals), tape samples.

Duration: 45 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by Sydney Chamber Opera.. Commissioned by the 20th Biennale of Sydney

First performance: by Sydney Chamber Opera, Jack Symonds, Pierce Wilcox — Mar 16. Biennale of Sydney, Building 15 on Cockatoo Island, Sydney

Performances of this work

Mar 16: Biennale of Sydney, Building 15 on Cockatoo Island, Sydney. Featuring Sydney Chamber Opera, Jack Symonds, Pierce Wilcox.

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