Philosopher, political activist and mystic, Simone Weil was, wrote Albert Camus, “the only great spirit of our times”.
The acclaimed Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho tells her remarkable and ultimately tragic story through music in La Passion de Simone, a deeply spiritual work presented for the first time in Australia by the Sydney Chamber Opera.
Director Imara Savage and designer Elizabeth Gadsby, the creative team behind the SCO’s Fly Away Peter, create the physical world for Saariaho’s luminous meditation on defiance in the face of inhumanity.
Last seen in The Howling Girls, soprano Jane Sheldon, one of Australia’s most accomplished and technically adventurous singers, leads the audience through Weil’s extraordinary life, from her rejection of labour during World War II to her exile into self-imposed starvation in protest of the atrocity of the Holocaust.
Under conductor and co-founder Jack Symons, the Sydney Chamber Opera has drawn widespread critical acclaim for its innovative programming, musical rigour and focus on compelling theatrical experiences. Each year SCO stages productions of 21st and 20th-century repertoire with a balance of commissioned work by leading Australian composers, the latest international operas in their Australian premieres, song cycles and cantatas in unusual stagings, and canonical repertoire reinvigorated by the country’s most daring theatrical talent.