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Speechless by Cat Hope

posted 5 Nov 2019, 22:59 by Thomas Friberg
26 February - 3rd March 2019

I enjoyed singing in this raw and dark work in response to the 2014 Human Rights Commission report ‘The Forgotten Children: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention’.

“Speechless is a wordless opera, that is driven by thematic materials form the Human Rights Commissions children in detentions report that was tabled by Gillian Triggs in 2014. I think that was my year of realising that things were not quite right. Both when it came to women’s position or opportunities in Australia but also a feeling of disempowerment generated by some of the things that were happening in our government, particularly around asylum seekers and children in detention. I felt helpless in the face of these things – what could I offer as an experimental music composer? Some friends encouraged me to try and address my response through my work. The first attempt was After Julia (about Julia Gillard’s term in office), and Speechless was the next. Speechless is an hour long, and features four soloists, community choirs, and the Australian Bass Orchestra – an orchestra of instruments all playing below middle C.