Orchestra Victoria


Opera Australia and Victorian Opera

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Stories in the trees. Weave them out of bark and leaves.

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  • Melbourne / Naarm

    16–19 October 2024

    Palais Theatre
    Lower Esplanade, St Kilda

  • Duration

    Approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes.

  • Ticket Price Range

    From $39 + $7.30 transaction fee

There are more than 800 species of Eucalyptus in Australia. There is only one Ellen Holland.

Ellen’s beauty is famous for miles around. Her overprotective father has created a safe place to protect her from the world: a forest of Eucalypts.

Eucalyptus australiana, Eucalyptus marginata, Eucalyptus maidenii … lovingly planted, staked, tied.

But is the forest a sanctuary or is Ellen imprisoned?

Eucalyptus is a new opera by Jonathan Mills, based on Murray Bail’s beloved novel. It’s part Australian fairy tale and part musical evocation of the Australian bush. In this dappled landscape lurks both beauty and wonder. The score is mysterious and colourful, with moments of dramatic intensity and hushed beauty. The libretto by Meredith Oakes is poetic and spare.

Eucalyptus is an ageless story of love and longing about a daughter and a father.

Unable to bear the thought of losing Ellen, her father announces a competition. He sets an impossible task: only a man who can name all the trees on his land may marry his daughter.

As suitors cross the world to try their luck, Ellen encounters a stranger amongst her father’s trees: a storyteller with enchanting tales of faraway lands.

Renowned Australian playwright and director Michael Gow directs this new production, with designs by Simone Romaniuk. Desiree Frahn and Simon Meadows create the roles of Ellen and her father, with Orchestra Victoria conducted by Tahu Matheson.

Cast & Creative

Conductor Jonathan Mills
Libretto Meredith Oakes
After the Novel by Murray Bail
Conductor Tahu Matheson
Director Michael Gow
Set and Costume Designer Simone Romaniuk

Ellen Desiree Frahn
Holland Simon Meadows
The Stranger Michael Petrucelli
Cave Samuel Dundas
Sprunt Sisters
Olivia Cranwell
Dimity Shepherd

Orchestra Victoria

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