Australia’s premier opera companies have announced they have joined forces under the Opera Conference banner to produce the first major revival of the hit musical Bran Nue Dae – opening in Sydney in January 2020 and touring to Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.
Recognised as the world’s first Aboriginal stage musical when it premiered to great acclaim in 1990, Bran Nue Dae originally toured over a three-year period, and remains one of the most commercially successful pieces of original Australian musical theatre.
Written by the late Jimmy Chi in collaboration with the band Kuckles, Bran Nue Dae has been described as “a beacon of light” in Aboriginal and Australian cultural history. With its sense of humanity, irreverence and excitement, it still managed to carry serious social and political messages.
Bran Nue Dae will resonate with audiences as powerfully today as it did 30 years ago. The band Kuckles will again lead the musical direction – including original members Patrick Bin Amat, Gary Gower, Michael Manolis and Stephen Pigram.
The production’s original Director Andrew Ross, returns to the piece and has assembled a formidable creative team: Bangarra dancer and Yawuru woman from Broome, Tara Gower joins as Choreographer; Mark Thompson is Set & Costume Designer and Australia’s only indigenous theatrical Lighting Designer, Mark Howett will recreate the iconic Broome landscapes.
The Opera Conference is an Australia Council initiative that unites Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, State Opera South Australia and the West Australian Opera, to collaborate on co-productions that all Companies will present in their respective states as part of a national tour.
Collectively the Companies see this tour as a great opportunity to bring Bran Nue Dae to a new generation of Australian audiences. Bran Nue Dae will have a cast of 15 performers, of whom all bar one will be Indigenous. Auditions will be held in Broome, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne in the coming months.
For more information, audition registration and to join the waitlist, visit: www.brannuedaemusical.com.au for details.
Image: Bran Nue Dae