Chamber Made Opera presents Kate Neal’s Permission to Speak in 2016

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Chamber Made Opera presents Kate Neal’s Permission to Speak in 2016
Chamber Made Opera presents Kate Neal’s Permission to Speak in 2016


The world premiere of a hybrid “chamber opera” combining a cappella choral music with documentary theater and radiophonic art.

Melbourne Chamber Opera has made a major contribution to the development of contemporary chamber opera and intermedia music performance in Australia. Established in 1988 by director Douglas Horton and founding general manager Stephen Armstrong, Chamber Made is Australia’s only long-standing performing arts company dedicated exclusively to the creation and presentation of wholly original, new chamber opera.

Chamber Made Opera’s 2016 production Permission to speak is a collaboration between composer Kate Neal and playwright, director and theater maker Tamara Solwick.

The work is a new and exciting sound treatment of the difficult parts of our relationship with our parents. The words come directly from personal interviews with people at many different stages of life, reflecting on their relationships with their parents and telling stories of misunderstandings, confrontations and events that led to a new level of understanding.

Topics range from differences in lifestyle, sexuality and beliefs to domestic violence, birth and impending death and then the actual loss of a parent.

The demanding four singing roles live, beautifully performed there by Jan Slater and three collaborators from her Invenio Singers choir – Georgie Darvidis, Edward Fairley and Josh Kyle.

Permission to speak is a highly emotional piece that moved many viewers to tears. The work also comes with a content warning. It contains language and depicts events that some listeners may find disturbing.

If you or someone else is in an emergency, please call 000 immediately. If you or someone you know needs help:

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
  • Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
  • Main space
  • SANE 1800 187 263

Recorded at North Melbourne Arts House 24-26 November 2016.


Kate Neal: Permission to speak


Chamber opera
Georgie Darvidis (vocalist)
Edward Fairley (vocalist)
Josh Kyle (vocalist)
Jan Slater (vocalist)
Tamara Solwick (Director)
Jethro Woodward (sound design)

Read more

For chamber opera
About working in Limelight interview with composer Kate Neal


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