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Dalloway : A work for stage

by Kirsten Milenko (2020)

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The Australian Music Centre's catalogue does not include any recordings or sheet music of this work. This entry is for information purposes only.

It is listed in our catalogue because an event featuring a performance of this work was included in our calendar of Australian music. Details of this performance are listed below.

Work Overview

Fear no more the heat o' the sun;

Nor the furious winter's rages.

A fusion between chamber opera and dance theatre.

The perception of one character, Mrs Dalloway (soprano), is expressed through multiple viewpoints of the self in the portrayal of three levels of consciousness. Traversing all levels of mind, awareness, thought and consciousness is the Shadow-self (dancer).

The opera/dance-theatre rendition of Woolf's 'Mrs Dalloway' places the main character in a context that has no direct relation to her husband or child. The context of early 20th Century England placed women in a strange midpoint between the ongoing oppression of rights and shifting ideologies to define a life as an individual and not in direct relation to a husband or children. As Dalloway considers her age and new role without these two figures, she begins to feel that her life now lacks meaning and considers death as the only resolution for this blooming and ongoing sense of emptiness.

Preparing all day for a party, memories and desire morph into tangible voices that disturb the conscious mind and lead her to a breaking point. It is here that she sees, through her shadow-self, the layers of oppression that have been self-inflicted over many years in the name of social standing, stability and safety.

Dream-like recollections of her past contrast a starkly concrete present. Memories are disrupted and become a point of gravity in the passing of one single day.

Work Details

Year: 2020

Duration: 35 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: I. Act I – Entre nous -- II. Act II – Destiny prevails -- III. Act III – The convergence.

Dedication note: Johanna Maria Nylund and Jessica Lyall

First performance: by Musicians of the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Jean Thorel, Johanna Maria Nylund, Jessica Lyall at Pulsar 2020 Dance & Drama (Konservatoriets Koncertsal) on 8 Mar 2020

Based on the novel ‘Mrs Dalloway’ by Virginia Woolf.


Performances of this work

8 Mar 2020: at Pulsar 2020 Dance & Drama (Konservatoriets Koncertsal). Featuring Musicians of the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Jean Thorel, Johanna Maria Nylund, Jessica Lyall.

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