A concert performance of the groundbreaking opera, Harvey Milk will premiere in Sydney in November, presented by Left Bauer Productions and the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir. Composed by Stewart Wallace to libretto by Michael Korie, the production will be directed by Cameron Lukey and conducted by Sarah Penicka- Smith with pianist Chris Cartner.
In January 1978, after his third campaign for a position on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, forty-seven year old camera salesman Harvey Milk made history by becoming the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in America. Ten months later, having secured the city’s first gay rights ordinance, Harvey was shot and killed by fellow City Supervisor Dan White.
Following an acclaimed performance in Melbourne earlier this year as part of the Midsumma Festival, Left Bauer Productions (Playing Rock Hudson and Master Class) are thrilled to be joining forces with the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir to celebrate Harvey’s indelible legacy.
“The outpouring of grief following Harvey’s death and the passion his achievements inspired continue to fuel a movement the world over”, says producer Cameron Lukey, “and with the upcoming plebiscite looming, Harvey’s story could not be more timely for an Australian audience.”
Sarah Penicka-Smith, Conductor and Music Director of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir says “Harvey Milk’s story has all the right ingredients for classic opera – passion, political intrigue, love and sexuality, and a hero prepared to give his life for his beliefs. Wallace’s score will appeal to both contemporary opera buffs and newcomers to opera, with influences from music theatre, 70s prog rock, and the classical concert hall. Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir is thrilled to be tackling the demanding chorus work in Harvey Milk and to set the backdrop for the story of one of the twentieth century’s gay icons. This opera will remind you both how much has changed, and also how much still needs to change.”
Harvey Milk – The Opera in Concert presents excerpts from Wallace and Korie’s opera, featuring a chorus of sixty and five of Australia’s finest music theatre and operatic talents.
The creative team: Composer – Stewart Wallace/ Librettist – Michael Korie/ Conductor – Sarah Penicka-Smith/ Accompanist – Chris Cartner/ Director – Cameron Lukey/ Producers – Michele Bauer and Cameron Lukey
The cast: Harvey Milk – Tod Strike/ Dan White – Jacob Caine/ Anne Kronenberg – Angela Hogan/ Mayor George Moscone – Jud Arthur
Chorus: Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir
Tickets: from $30