The School of Hard Knocks has announced that the world premiere of the No Excuses! choral suite will be introduced by 2015 Australian of the Year and domestic violence campaigner, Rosie Batty at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Sunday 12 June as part of the 2016 Melbourne International Singers Festival.
The School of Hard Knocks commissioned composers Christina Green and Dr Kathleen McGuire in 2015 to write the No Excuses! choral suite and create the No Excuses! women’s choir with the aid of a Creative Victoria grant. The Suite focuses on family violence and domestic abuse, with real stories of struggle alongside those of inspirational resilience as shared by women from Melbourne’s western suburbs.
Dr McGuire said they had an overwhelming response for material when composing the new work. “As many of the women who were singing in the choir began contributing their stories, many of them began to realise that they themselves had been victims of domestic violence. Their involvement in this process and the music has empowered them to turn their lives around.” said Dr McGuire.
No Excuses! originally premiered at the Big West Festival in 2015, and was described as “an emotional and ultimately triumphant journey of strength and hope.” The No Excuses! women’s choir has also performed for Rosie, and The Luke Batty Foundation, at Crown Casino.“
It is so incredibly special that she will be present to introduce the extended work at the world premiere, given her deep commitment to this important cause through her own tragic circumstances,” said Dr Jonathon Welch AM, founding artistic director of the School of Hard Knocks. Sometimes music can tell a story in a way that nothing else can.”
Proceeds from the performance will support the School of Hard Knocks to help marginalised and vulnerable Australians build positive, mental and physical health through the arts.
Melbourne Recital Centre, Sturt Street, Southbank
Performance: Sunday 12 June 2016 – 2.00pm
For more information, visit: www.schoolofhardknocks.org.au for details.
Image: Rosie Batty (supplied)