Opera, gender violence and activism

Stream: Representing Violence
Date: Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Time: 1.00 pm – 2.45 pm


‘Opera, gender violence and activism’ examines the power of opera to become a platform for social change. How the form of music theatre can address the bi-lateral issues of gender violence of contemporary society. Two new Australian works are discussed; CONFINED, the first opera to be written in the Northern Territory; and ‘THE DAUGHTERS OPERA PROJECT’, the first chamber opera currently being developed between Australia and India. CONFINED is an intimate and immersive foray into the depths of the troubled life of an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Archetypes embody the split personality of a young woman's mind. The story follows a descent into the underworld and traverses the consequences of trauma and irreversible action; the state of psychosis and its landscape. THE DAUGHTERS OPERA PROJECT delineates important concepts around raising awareness to end violence against women. It aims to spark inter-cultural dialogue through engaging leading theatre makers and thinkers from both Australia and India. ‘Opera, gender violence and activism’ explores how these works approach taboo subjects, in a way that engenders a level of understanding not always accessible with such complex subject matter.


Tammy Brennan (Presenter), Independent Artist | Producer
Tammy Brennan is a Sydney based writer and performance artist who creates music theatre work about the lived experience of gender violence and sexual trauma. She created and produced the first chamber opera to emerge in the Northern Territory, 'CONFINED', and is currently developing the first chamber opera between Australia and India. Tammy is a trained lyric soprano, and has performed her work both nationally and internationally. She is a survivor of gender violence, in both her childhood and adult life.

Anuradha Kapur (Presenter), Independent Artist | Director
Award winning theatre director Dr Anuradha Kapur studied at the University of Delhi and Leeds, UK. She has written widely on the theatre - Actors, Pilgrims, Kings and Gods: the Ramlila at Ramnagar was published by Seagull Books, Kolkatta. Her writing includes essays on Indian popular theatre traditions, acting, and on gender in performance. She has presented at conferences and conducted workshops worldwide. Her most recent former engagement was as the Director of the National School of Drama, New Delhi. In 2004 she was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi award the highest national award in the field of theatre.