1 Daisy Bates at Ooldea

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Daisy Bates at Ooldea

“I wake before dawn every morning to a new and miraculous world.” Daisy Bates

Daisy Bates at Ooldea is a Chamber Opera based on the 16 years Bates lived alone in a tent in the Australian desert.
Sidney Nolan’s 1950 painting of Bates shows her looking simultaneously alien and at ease in the desert. She is dressed in sombre Edwardian clothing, which she wore despite the heat in order to uphold the values of the British empire. I was inspired by Nolan’s painting to confidently design a ground plane which bleeds into a canvas ‘sky’, on to which photography was projected. The scenic art is referencing the silhouette of the vegetation that graces the site of her tent home.

“I want to die in these sand hills, my little tent marking the spot.”
Daisy Bates

Set & Costume Design

Composer: ANNE BOYD AM
Librettist: BOB REECE
Prod. Manager: PIERRE ST. JUST
Projection Design & Photography: HIDEKI ISODA

Sydney Conservatorium of Music
World Premier Production written for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Centenary Commissioning Project, Nov 2012

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