PECAN SUMMER at Sydney Opera House this September

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Pecan Summer, Australia's first Indigenous opera, set to make history at the Sydney Opera House on September 12.

For the very first time Sydney audiences will be able to experience Short Black Opera's brand new production of Deborah Cheetham's Pecan Summer in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House.

Written and composed by Deborah Cheetham AO (Yorta Yorta), Pecan Summer features some of Australia's newest Indigenous opera stars including Wiradjuri soprano Shauntai Batzke, Green Room Award Winner Jessica Hitchcock (The Rabbits) Yugerra-Ugarem Le baritone John Wayne Parsons and making his Short Black operatic debut, Marcus Corowa (The Rabbits). Starring some of Australia's best loved and most established singers including Barry Ryan OAM, Rosamund Illing, Jonathon Welch AM (Choir of Hard Knocks), and Cheetham herself, the Sydney production will also feature special guests Simon Lobelson, Eddie Muliaumaseali'I, Michael Butchard (Pacific Opera) and soprano Laura King (Bare Bones Opera).

Pecan Summer is an opera for the 21st century, a contemporary opera for Indigenous Australians, a story for all Australians. Sixty thousand years of Yorta Yorta history. 70 years of dispossession. The summer of 1939 will change the lives of the people of Cummeragunja forever. Alice is nine years old. Her family is her entire world. Alice's world is about to be torn apart.. Deborah Cheetham, composer. Pecan Summer, Australia's first Indigenous opera, tells the story of the 1939 walk-off from Cummeragunga mission, a history making event when 200 people of the Yorta Yorta nation left their home in protest of the harsh and inhumane conditions imposed upon them.

The success of Pecan Summer led to the creation of Short Black Opera Company, a national not-for- profit opera company devoted to the development of Aboriginal opera singers. After Pecan Summer's 2010 premiere season in Mooroopna, Victoria, Short Black Opera presented seasons in Melbourne in 2011, Perth in 2012 and Adelaide in 2014.

This is a milestone in Australian opera. It should be widely seen both here and overseas... It is a wonderful vehicle showcasing an amazing array of Indigenous operatic talent. It tells an important story which has relevance to all Australians, and anywhere where there are minority communities who have suffered at the hands of an oppressive majority. Bravi to all involved, and brava, Deborah Cheetham. Sandra Bowdler, Opera Britannia, 14/9/12

This record breaking 5th production of Pecan Summer also sees Director Cameron Menzies (Green Room and Helpmann Award finalist) make his Sydney directorial debut. This all new production will harness the energy of 3D mapping technology with design by Nicholas Tory of Ample Projects (VIVID Festival) and visual design content by leading Indigenous photographic artist Wayne Quilliam.

The Short Black Opera Orchestra will be under the direction of Dr David Kram.

Tickets are on sale now from

For more information please visit the Short Black Opera website at or email:

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