“The Rabbits is a melting pot of genres….. (singers) from opera to jazz and music theatre…..accompanied by a 5 piece band which includes a piano accordion, violin and electronics…..It is likely to become an iconic work that not only entertains but makes critical statements about Australia’s history – beguiling and thought-provoking.”
Those are some of the sentiments aroused in the review by SoundsLikeSydney of The Rabbits, presented at the Sydney Festival in collaboration with Opera Australia and Barking Gecko Theatre Company in January 2016.
The Rabbits is now available on CD, recorded live at the Roslyn Packer Theatre,Walsh Bay, during the Sydney Festival and released on ABC Classics. (ABC 481 2535)
Butterfly-voiced songstress Kate Miller-Heidke is the composer of the evocative score. She leads the cast with a sung narrative that is interspersed with passages of bird calls as she uses her extraordinary voice to great instrumental effect.
The production won four Helpmann Awards and is adapted from the haunting picture book by John Marsden and Shaun Tan. It tells of colonisation and displacement, but ultimately, of hope. Along with musical arrangements and additional music by Iain Grandage, Miller-Heidke’s music and Lally Katz’s lyrics, have created a musical work which engages children and adults alike.
The CD contains 15 tracks with an additional 16th track on the acoustic edition.
The performers: Bird – Kate Miller-Heidke/ Marsupials: Coda – Hollie Andrew, Flinch – Jessica Hitchcock, Roxie – Lisa Maza, 2 Stripe – Marcus Corowa, 3 Stripe – David Leha/ Rabbits: A Scientist – Kanen Breen, A Society Rabbit – Nicholas Jones, A Convict – Christopher Hillier, A Lieutenant – Simon Meadows, The Captain – Robert Mitchell.