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Southern Ocean
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News Archive 2003

Southern Ocean - TSO, April 2003
The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra present Southern Ocean by Andrew Schultz to a text by Margaret Scott for Chorus and Orchestra on 5 April 2003 as part of the Ten Days on the Island Festival.

12 Variations – Perth Festival, February 2003
John Utans choreographs the Western Australian Ballet in A Fine Line, using the 12 Variations for piano duet by Andrew Schultz. The performances are at the Quarry as part of the Perth Festival.

Journey to Horseshoe Bend - SSO, May 2003
In National Reconciliation Week 2003 the Sydney Symphony will give the world premiere of Schultz/Williams’ Journey to Horseshoe Bend. Featuring internationally renowned conductor David Porcelijn, Australian actor Aaron Pedersen, Ntaria Ladies Choir from Hermannsburg NT and Sydney Philharmonia Motet Choir, the world premiere performances will take place on Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 May 2003.

Journey to Horseshoe Bend is a musical adaptation of T.G.H. Strehlow's autobiographical novel of the same name in the form of a cantata for narrator, Aboriginal chorus and actor, soloists and orchestra with music by Andrew Schultz, and libretto by Gordon Kalton Williams.

As Strehlow's novel takes its characters on a journey down the Finke valley through European pastoral holdings and Aranda totemic landscapes, this work will provide an opportunity to focus the attention of Australian orchestral audiences on aspects of the particular history of the Western Aranda. The work is now part and parcel of the cultural heritage of Hermannsburg and related areas to the south. In August 2001 Gordon and Andrew travelled to Central Australia and met senior Aranda men, Gus Williams and Doug Abbott. They also met with David Roennfeldt, director of the Ntaria Ladies Choir, based at Hermannsburg settlement. The first performance of Journey to Horseshoe Bend will feature the Ntaria Ladies Choir as the nucleus of a choir made up of Aboriginal people from the west of Alice Springs, singing some of the Strehlow translations of Bach chorales mentioned in the text. The Ntaria Ladies Choir comprises women from Hermannsburg, Areyonga and Mt Liebig. It is envisaged that incorporation of Aranda hymns along with more traditional features will validate the Aranda people's unique culture which partakes of both lifestyles.

The current libretto is the result of more than two years research. The composer, Andrew Schultz, has had experience working with Aboriginal themes, as evinced by his opera Black River which received critical acclaim when premiered in 1989. The Sydney Symphony, librettist and composer are working collaboratively with the Strehlow Research Centre and Central Australian aboriginal people in achieving the final work. The Sydney Symphony, the librettist and composer are aware that there are Aranda (and European) people who have a stake in this story, and are in the process of seeking their assistance and support. By involving Doug Abbott, grandson of Njitiaka, as an adviser, the cantata publicly replicates traditional aspects of presentation, wherein the landholder (Pmaragatuia) is involved in presentation of stories associated with his area. The Sydney Symphony, librettist and composer also acknowledge the desirability of obtaining the 'blessing' of the Alice Springs Aboriginal organisations representing the interests of the people of Central Australia, particularly the Finke valley.

Journey to Horseshoe Bend is a major part of the Meet the Music series in the Sydney Symphony's 2003 performance season and has the full support of the Sydney Symphony. The aim of the Meet the Music series is to offer the predominantly young audience some exciting and challenging musical experiences while still maintaining a strong element of the great symphonic repertoire which many members of the audience will be experiencing for the first time. The series is held in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House and in keeping with the Sydney Symphony's commitment to the success of the project, significant publicity will be generated. It is expected that the work will capture the imagination of the press.

 

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