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Australian Contemporary Opera Company to Perform New Production of BOOK OF LONGING

The show is set for Friday, May 13th, 8:00-9:30pm at The Edge.  

Australian Contemporary Opera Company to Perform New Production of BOOK OF LONGING

Award winning independent company Australian Contemporary Opera Co (ACOCo), in partnership with The Wheeler Centre and Fed Square, presents Philip Glass' divisive Book of Longing - a unique and intoxicating collaboration between two of the most celebrated musical artists of their generation. Featuring Richard Piper as the voice of Leonard Cohen, this evening length operatic concert performance of poetry, songs and music, incorporates projections of Cohen's poems and drawings and will be staged for one night only at The Edge, Federation Square.

General admission tickets are $65 (+ booking fee) and concession tickets are $55 (+ booking fee). The show is set for Friday 13 May, 8.00-9.30pm at The Edge in Fed Square.

"The work sweeps from personal intimacy to emotional grandeur, taking the audience on a musical journey through Cohen's iconic Book of Longing," says Richard Piper. "It's a testimony to a wonderful friendship, and a fitting celebration and memorial for one great artist from another."

The culmination of years of mutual admiration between the minimalist composer and the enigmatic poet/songwriter; inspiration for Book of Longing struck Glass during their first meeting, when Cohen read him almost the entire collection of poems from an as yet unpublished manuscript. Deeply moved, and finding the work 'intensely beautiful, personal and inspiring', Glass proposed a new project on the spot, melding Cohen's poetry and images with his own original music.

Premiering in 2007, Glass' work is part chamber-music concert, part theatrical cabaret and part art installation, setting 22 of Cohen's poems to music. "Interestingly, Glass has Leonard only speak in his work, not sing. It's as if Leonard is softly speaking in someone's ear," says ACOCo's Artistic Director and Book of Longing director Linda Thompson. "And then in contrast, with Glass' music, four operatic soloists and an ensemble, the poems spring to life - full of desire, longing, nostalgia, regret, inherently operatic, with a hypnotic, insistent, intimate quality."

90 minutes long, and performed without intermission, Book of Longing is a late life cri de couer, bubbling with the need to express youthful impulses and deep love. "To be in a venue with other people, experiencing something both profound and ludicrous, intimate and grand, is a gift to treasure, even more so now, having been taken away for so long," says Thompson.

Starring Richard Piper (Pirates of the Caribbean, Come from Away) as the voice of Leonard and featuring soprano Emily Burke, mezzo soprano Dimity Shepherd, tenor Martin Buckingham, baritone Christopher Tonkin and supported by members of the ACOCo 2022 Young Artist Program, Book of Longing will be performed for one night only in the stunning glass surrounds of The Edge, located in the heart of Federation Square.

Bookings now open (here).

For more information visit: https://www.acoco.org.au/book-of-longing

Australian Contemporary Opera Co. (ACOCo)

Melbourne based, globally-connected opera company specialising in contemporary and festival opera, with acclaimed young artist program. ACOCo's practice takes the form of performances and creations that explore human triumphs, foibles, follies and failures.

We believe that music, theatre and visual storytelling are the fundamental building blocks for human relationships. We focus on enhancing these aspects in all of our shows to create an unforgettable experience with each production.



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