Words: Kate Miller Heidke & Keir Nuttal
Music Connor D'Netto with Kate Miller Heidke
OPERA QUEENSLAND/BRISBANE FESTIVAL
20-24 September 2022
FLUXUS & OPERA QUEENSLAND PRESENT
WHAT IS FLUXUS?
FLUXUS facilitates ideas, creative teams & writers bringing unique theatre to life and creating new Australian work for the operatic stage.
We focus on nurturing established & emerging Australian artists & creators with an emphasis on presenting a diverse and intersectional array of works.
Some say opera is a dying art form, we here at FLUXUS believe that the raw power of the operatic voice combined with the majesty of a live orchestral score is, and will always be, the most direct way to deliver visceral emotion directly into an audience's soul*.
We also believe that there is room to expand what opera can be and how it is presented. By working with experienced Australian creatives from all artistic genres, we can redefine and reinvent, without discarding the classical canon.
* is this hyperbole? I mean yes, probably, but we do also really believe in the power and majesty (and sometimes glorious satirical nonsense) of opera.
WHO IS FLUXUS?
FLUXUS is a concept creation company set up by Ali McGregor & Wendy Richards.
"(Ali McGregor) is an exceptional cultural leader & creative force. She has rare experience in commissioning new works, particularly Australian works, & in this she has shown a generosity of spirit & prudence necessary in fostering & promoting new works from the seed." Steve Vizard
Our previous concept creation work includes LORELEI for Victorian Opera. Based on the german folkloric tale of the maiden on the rock singing the sailors to their death she saw the potential for an important conversation around female sensuality and agency. With her keen eye for collaborations FLUXUS brought together composer Julian Langdon with Casey Bennetto & Gillian Cosgriff to create an operatic hybrid that drew on folk narratives, modern day satire and the sensibility of feminist burlesque. They brought in Sarah Giles to direct bringing with her the creative team of Marg Horwell & Paul Jackson. With the full support and guidance of Richard Mills and Victorian Opera LORELEI opened at the Malthouse Theatre in 2018 starring Ali, Antoinette Halloran & Dimity Shepherd.
The piece was a triumph being described in the press as: "A highly entertaining evening with a social message” The Age; and "From music and lyrics to set and costumes, it’s an engaging package whose appeal goes well beyond the usual opera crowd.” Limelight.
Nominated for multiple Green Room awards this piece has been a critical success with a return season for Victorian Opera in July 2021 with plans to tour nationally in 2022/23.
Ali & Wendy also created and produced the Helpmann award winning show Yma Sumac - The Peruvian Songbird alongside Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2018. With successful seasons at Adelaide Cabaret Festival and the Sydney Opera House this acclaimed piece also has plans to tour nationally in 2022/23.
Critically acclaimed the work was declared by reviewers as:
"First class, and top shelf. There’s no reason why Yma Sumac, The Peruvian Songbird should not tour all over the world. It is that good."
"Ranging from deep, earthshaking bass to dizzying, sky-scraping high notes there are not enough superlatives to describe Mc Gregor's voice, or how listening to it makes you feel right in the core of your being. Completely exhilarating.” Broadway World
FLUXUS brings fresh ideas to the operatic stage, telling stories that resonate with modern-day audiences. We amplify Australian voices, artists and composers by collaborating with opera companies, festivals and producers.
Ali McGregor is an internationally renown soprano and cabaret artist who has performed everywhere from Glastonbury to Carnegie Hall. After starting her career as a principal soprano with Opera Australia she soon ran away with the circus in the form of international touring sensation La Clique (La Soiree). After her appointment as artistic director of Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2016-2018 she has gone on to create a number of cabaret shows including the Helpmann Award winning show Yma Sumac: The Peruvian Songbird in 2019.
She has performed with SSO, MSO, Sydney Festival, Melbourne Jazz Festival, Festival of Voices among others. She has been performing and producing shows at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne Comedy Festivals for 14 years. She appeared multiple times on ABC’s Spicks & Specks, has been nominated for an ARIA award for her family jazz album JAZZAMATAZZ!, and won multiple green room awards for both cabaret and opera.
Ali is a board Member of The Song Room - a national for-purpose organisation that brings tailored, high-quality music and arts programs, to the most disadvantaged students at schools across Australia.
Wendy Richards of Working Management is a manager and producer with 30 years of experience working across the many genres of the Arts.
Before founding Working Management in 2004, Wendy spent 15 years in the international touring arena. Working both as an Agent in the UK and as Director of Tours for Michael Coppel Presents, one of Australia’s busiest Tour Promoters, touring artists such as Tina Turner, Celine Dion, Elvis Costello, U2, Green Day, Paul Simon, Destiny’s Child and Janet Jackson.
Over the last 30 years, Wendy has actively built close relationships within the international and domestic entertainment industries and commercial world alike.
flux: /flʌks/ (n) : a state of continuous change - fluxōs: (n) from the Latin fluō : flowing
The name Fluxus was used by a sub group of Dada artists in the 1960s who played an important role in opening up the definitions of what art can be. It saw a diverse range of art forms and approaches existing and flourishing side-by-side.
Fluxus had no single unifying style. Artists used a range of media and processes adopting a ‘do-it-yourself’ attitude to creative activity.
With this homage to these creative minds, we hope to breath fresh air into the vibrant art form that OPERA can be. Drawing on an eclectic range of art makers & theatrical styles to create new, Australian work.