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Brief Synopsis

The Opera Project

Year: 2014, 84 mins
Code: NK-Brief
ISBN: 978-1-922007-80-3

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a beautiful naked woman ‘of a certain age’ brutally stabs a young man to death"

It pulls together rich elements of music, physical space, visual arts, text and movement. It contemplates violence, without relying on sensational anecdote. Explores issues in more abstract ways, creating something at once funny, scary, sumptuous, provocative…
"baroque, intelligent pleasure".

"Brief Synopsis seems to be about distance: the distance between us no matter how close we come. The essential loneliness of the human soul is rarely, if ever, completely assuaged. Love is never as wholly satisfying as it promises to be, or not for long, no matter how sweet the lips or engaging the conversation... Kellaway, Molino and David Buckley’s characters comprise an odd triangle of love and lust and it’s hard to know who’s alive, or when." - Lloyd Bradford Syke.

BRIEF SYNOPSIS brings together director and composer Nigel Kellaway with long-time fellow performer Katia Molino, acclaimed photographer Heidrun Löhr and lighting designer Neil Simpson.

Kellaways`s concerns are in physical drama, spatial design and contemporary notions of how to “musicalize” theatre and “theatricalize” music. The live band of 3 ‘cellos, double bass and piano are exceptional musicians experienced in the challenges of our work and eager to ‘let their hair down’. Thousands of Heidrun’s photographs of the performers in motion will be digitally condensed into an animation projected on the venue’s walls, creating a vivid narrative dialogue with the live action and music. Nigel and Katia are respected and highly trained physical performers, having worked across theatre, dance, opera and contemporary performance genres over decades. This virtuosic framework embraces photography, classical and contemporary musical traditions, 20th century theatre and performance texts, scenic design, physical languages and video technologies. A dense tapestry accessible through many familiar “doorways”.

Performance Space at Carriageworks - Sydney, Australia, November 2013

(performer, director, composer)
Nigel’s initial tertiary performance training was in music, majoring in piano and composition. He was then the first Australian actor to train in Japan with Tadashi Suzuki and his Suzuki Company Of Toga. Over 35 years he has created more than 60 full-length theatre, dance and music works, in Australia and internationally. In 1997 he co-founded The opera Project Inc., a loose ensemble of actors, musicians and physical performers dedicated to reassessing "opera" as a contemporary performance practice. In 2004 he was awarded a senior artist’s Fellowship by the Theatre Board of the Australia Council to enable his continuing research into theatrical, operatic and contemporary performance practices.Nigel is Artistic Director of The opera Project, and also works widely as a director, performer and mentor. See all Nigel Kellaway titles.

Katia’s tertiary studies were in theatre and movement. She has worked as a freelance performer with many companies, and studied extensively in corporeal mime, Suzuki Actor Training and aerial skills. Katia has a 20 year professional relationship with Nigel Kellaway. For The opera Project, she has performed in EL INOCENTE and THE AUDIENCE AND OTHER PSYCHOPATHS. Katia has performed in small intimate spaces and the great windswept outdoors, touring nationally and internationally.

DAVID BUCKLEY (performer)

HEIDRUN LÖHR (photographer)
Heidrun graduated from the Institute of Photography in Munich, Germany, working as a freelance photographer in theatre and film before moving to Australia in 1984. Over the past 20 years she has photographed the productions of major theatre and dance companies in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra including all the work of Nigel Kellaway since 1991. She collaborates extensively with independent artists, dancers and performers, creating diverse performance works. Recently, as an Australia Council Fellow, she has digitally archived her vast photographic collection, highlighting the achievements and artistry of a prolific and innovative performance community within Australia. Heidrun also exhibits widely in galleries.

Musicians: Steve Meyer, Laura Moore, Catherine Upex, Ashley Kurlle, Benjamin Au
Assisting Video Artist:
Peter Oldham
Animation and Editing: Hans Bildstein and Heidrun Löhr
Music “re-imagined”: Nigel Kellaway
Lighting design/operation and production: Richard Montgomery
Production coordination/stage management: Clytie Smith
Ambient sound: Russell Emerson
Sound operation: Gary Dryza

"It’s an austere vision..."
"This is the performing arts equivalent of a memorable meal."

- Lloyd Bradford Syke,

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