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Patrick White Fragments : soprano voice with piano

by Peter Sculthorpe (2012)

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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

For a short time in the mid-sixties, I collaborated with Patrick White on an opera. Set in 1836, it told the story of Eliza Fraser, beginning with shipwreck, the still birth of her baby, the death of her husband and capture by Aborigines. The opera was never completed and the text of the present song is the only part of the libretto that I have in my possession. The song, which I have called 'Patrick White Fragments', is concerned with Eliza Fraser's resignation to the possibility of her own death. She finds solace in a rain forest and there, in early morning light, she replaces her crinoline with skeletons of leaves. Patrick planned the symbolism of this transition to be at the very heart of the opera. His novel, A Fringe of Leaves, published in 1976, is based upon this idea. P.S.

Work Details

Year: 2012

Instrumentation: Soprano, piano.

Duration: 7 min.

Difficulty: dedicated to the memory of Patrick White

First performance: at Sounding the NPG (National Portrait Gallery) on 11 May 2012

Performances of this work

22 May 2020: at Songs from Austalia (Live streaming event (online only)). Featuring Greta Bradman, Calvin Bowman.

7 May 2017: at A Heritage of Australian Art Song (Terrigal Anglican Church). Featuring Cathy Aggett, Louise Scott.

28 Jul 2013: at Australian Song at Kincoppal (Performing Arts Centre, Kincoppal - Rose Bay).

11 May 2012: at Sounding the NPG (National Portrait Gallery).

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