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Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Complex tragedies of honour crime and family violence: Ruthless Jabiru at the Grimeborn Festival

© Hannah Quinlivan, Immobilised (drawing performance with movement) L-R: Louise Keast, Shikara Ringdahl Photographer: Alex Hobba
© Hannah Quinlivan, Immobilised (drawing performance with movement) L-R: Louise Keast, Shikara Ringdahl Photographer: Alex Hobba
Launched in 2011, Ruthless Jabiru is a London-based chamber orchestra, artistic director Kelly Loveday, dedicated to new music and to humanitarian stories, with its personnel entirely made up of professional Australian musicians based in the UK. The ensemble will be making its Grimeborn Festival with its first fully staged production Silk Moth which runs from 9 to 11 August 2019. Silk Moth will examine the complex tragedies of honour crime, family violence and female (dis)empowerment in Britain and beyond, using the music of three UK-based women composers, Bushra El-Turk, Liza Lim and Cassandra Miller, in a production directed by Heather Fairbairn.

The centre piece is Bushra El-Turk and librettist Eleanor Knight’s hard-hitting chamber opera Silk Moth (2015) which explores the psychological landscape of a mother implicated in the forced marriage, genital mutilation, and honour killing of her own daughter, with Liza Lim's The Heart’s Ear (1997) as a dramatised prologue, with both works interweaving Arabic music with Western. And Cassandra Miller’s Bel Canto (2010), a portrait of Maria Callas, completes the programme. Ruthless Jabiru’s core ensemble will be augmented by musicians from the experimental Middle Eastern initiative Ensemble Zar as guests within the orchestra.

Ruthless Jabiru's patron is the Australia composer Brett Dean, and recent projects have included a tribute to the damaged landscape of Maralinga alongside the Australia exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, and an homage to poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal at the inaugural Australia & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts.

Full details from the Ruthless Jabiru website, and Arcola Theatre website.

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