Melbourne’s longest standing professional string quartet, Flinders Quartet performs the world premiere of Hidden Thoughts II: Return to Sender, a brand-new work for female voice, narrator and string quartet from renowned Australian composer Dr Katy Abbott. The concert will be performed and streamed live to homes across Australia, direct from the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall on 23rd July.
In 2013, barrister Julian Burnside AO QC asked Australians to write letters of comfort and encouragement to asylum seekers detained on Nauru. Nearly 2000 of those letters were returned unopened, marked “Return to sender”. After painstakingly reading through the letters, Abbott was inspired to write this piece as a musical response, drawing on verbatim theatre with spoken word, song and visual elements in an incredibly moving text from the extraordinary number of Australians who were compelled to reach out and connect with people they’d never met.
Katy Abbott said “The Australians who wrote letters have big hearts and a lyrical way with words; chatty, insightful, witty, heartfelt, empathetic, outraged, funny, vulnerable, extremely artistic, thoughtful and poignant. I always meant to write a letter, but I never did. This work is my contribution to that dialogue”.
Performed by Flinders Quartet with three-time Green Room Award winner, and 2018 Helpmann Award nominee, mezzo-soprano Dimity Shepherd, the concert will be narrated by actor and performer Richard Piper (Come From Away).
Flinders Quartet cellist, Zoe Knighton said “Performing this work provides us with a rare opportunity to be a voice for those who haven’t been able to have had their words heard. It is one of the most important premieres of Flinders Quartet’s 20 year history, for so many reasons. Katy’s way of writing is so innately human that even practicing it on our own has been incredibly moving. Now, more than ever, we hope that this work inspires compassion and empathy”.
Tickets: $20 plus $4 charge for credit card fees, streaming costs, etc (the full $20 gets passed onto the performers).
50% of profits from the event will be donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.