Cloudstreet: an opera in Australian vernacular

Audiences won't need subtitles for a new opera, based on Tim Winton’s iconic novel set in suburban Perth and populated by working class Aussies.

State Opera SA’s Cloudstreet. Image supplied.

Part of the appeal in adapting Cloudstreet as an opera was the challenge of  ‘singing the vernacular in opera style,’ said director Gale Edwards.

‘There’s slang in the novel, you know; there’s a real Australian colloquialism and it’s a working class way of speaking, and I love that. So the idea that we may be defining an Australian voice through opera is really appealing to me.’

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts