Awakening Shadow: the new show at Carriageworks Sydney

Art sculpture

Sydney Chamber Opera is bringing its latest production, Awakening Shadow, and by all accounts it’s one to see.

In a first Australian staging, Benjamin Britten’s five Canticles are entwined with a new work by leading Australian composer Luke Styles, performed by a quartet of singers and four musicians in front of a monolithic altar-like screen. The work channels Britten’s crisis of faith through the singing body and will be presented from 30 September – 7 October 2022.

Awakening Shadow follows on from Sydney Chamber Opera’s previous successful stagings of Britten operas at Carriageworks with Owen Wingrave in 2013 and The Rape of Lucretia in 2017. 

What to expect?

The hour-long quintet of chamber works will centre on radiant tenor Brenton Spiteri, commuting between Britten’s intense demands and the brand-new world of Luke Styles’ response. Spiteri will be joined onstage by Sydney-born mezzo soprano Emily Edmonds, who has recently performed with the Royal Opera House, London and Komische Oper, Berlin, alongside Sydney Chamber Opera Artistic Associate soprano Jane Sheldon and the company’s frequent baritone collaborator Simon Lobelson.

The singers will perform alongside a large screen that presents itself as an altar on which a new video work will unfold, exploring Britten’s complex and evolving relationship with faith. Australian Ballet School dancer Luca Armstrong has been captured in multiple poses using a technique called photogrammetry, using 120 synchronised cameras to then generate a 3D model that has been digitally manipulated in space. The resulting work features moving tableaux that are photorealistic yet hauntingly unreal, as if floating between life and death.

Awakening Shadow

Sydney Chamber Opera

30 September – 8 October 2022

Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh NSW 2015

Go to the website for more