Helpmann Award winner and ARIA nominee Ali McGregor presents the sumptuous new Australian opera cabaret production, Lorelei, which tells the story of three sirens of song who sit atop the cliffs of Germany’s Rhine River, singing sailors to their watery graves.
Moral dilemmas begin to arise for the irresistible sirens however: are they tiring of singing sailors to their deaths, and honestly, do they even really deserve to die? The boundary breaking new work rewrites an ancient myth for modern women. McGregor enlisted composer Julian Langdon to create the contemporary score and librettists Casey Bennetto and Gillian Cosgriff to write the sharp and witty lyrics. The result is a work that traverses musical genres across tango, pop and classical. Opera Queensland Artistic Director and CEO Patrick Nolan said Ms McGregor would be joined by Dimity Shepherd and Antoinette Halloran to bring this powerhouse performance exclusively to Brisbane.
“Lorelei subverts the traditional siren’s tale,” Mr Nolan explained. “We encounter three different versions of the siren, each questioning the assumptions of their mythical status, changing their tune and their sense of identity in the process.” Ms McGregor said the creative partnership with her two classically-trained co-stars began in 2005 when she created a genre-crossing Spiegeltent show, The Opera Burlesque, designed to “bring opera to a slightly more debauched arena”. “We had a huge amount of fun usurping the traditional opera stereotypes we found ourselves in,” Ms McGregor said. “I’ve always been fascinated by the Lorelei myth and how it essentially blames feminine wiles for the foibles and failings of men. This is a theme we see a lot of in traditional opera and Dimity, Antoinette and I had always wanted to do something to address this. “We believe in investing in Australian artists and developing a body of Australian work that will survive and thrive for years to come,” Mr Nolan said.
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