Everything you need to know about Wundig wer Wilura
Who are the composers?
Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse
Six times winners, Indigenous Act of the Year at the West Australian Music Industry Awards, Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse use their music and performances to highlight one of the most beautiful and rare languages on the planet; the Noongar language of the southern corner of Western Australia.
Bringing ancient language, contemporary music, stunning vocals, poignant stories and guitar brilliance, Gina and Guy have made it their mission to become agitators for a hopeful future, by rewriting the script through song.
Since 2014, they have released four albums, two books, two works for the Perth Festival (Koorlangka and Koort) and an Opera (Koolbardi wer Wardong). They toured the UK in October and November. Wundig wer Wilura is their second Opera for West Australian Opera.
What happens in the story?
Wundig wer Wilura is a story of forbidden love, desperate desire, and feuding families.
- Wundig came from the hills. He was a good hunter; he was known for having “moorditj mart” (good legs) and for being able to run fast. Wilura was from the valley people, she was beautiful, but she was related to Wundig
- Wundig loved Wilura and Wilura loved Wundig. The two youngsters took off without telling anyone. The valley people went up the hill to look for their daughter. The hills people thought Wundig was with them. The valley people didn’t believe them, and a massive fight broke out. The Mubarn stopped the fight – turning the hills men into Balga (grass trees).
- Mubarn turned his attention to the two lovers. He banished Wundig’s spirit to Walwalling (the place of tears) and Wilura’s spirit to Wongborel (the sleeping woman). Before their deaths, the Mubarn told them they would not be reunited unless the two hills crumbled.
A little history
Wundig wer Wilura is a very old love story of the two hills, Mt Bakewell and Mt Brown in York, Western Australia.
Today, Walwalling is known as Mt Bakewell, and Wongborel is known as Mt Brown. Nowadays, you cannot go up Walwalling unless you are prepared to go all the way up to the top.
Who are the main characters?
- Wundig — A man from the ‘hills’ people
- Wilura — A woman from the ‘valley’ people
- Mubarn — A spirit man and mediator
Something to listen out for
Beautiful melodies and swooning arias fill this spectacular new work.
Listen here to the sounds of Wundig (Jared Wall) and Wilura (Jess Hitchcock) as they perform Ngalak Kalyakoorl.
Love and longing transcend in this aria that depicts the pivotal moment when Wundig and Wilura make their declaration to each other, the point of no return.
This production is...
An abstract and contemporary portrayal of this ancient story, passed down for thousands of generations. The production plays with elements of a familiar reality, articulated with fresh, bold, and brave interpretation.
Expect a hybrid of familiar and fresh, ancient and contemporary. The design sculpts powerful geographic forms out of mirrored silver and black - referencing the glimmer of stars, Balladong water, and speckled granite. Against this, prismatic fabric designs symbolise and express ancient knowledge, country, and flora. Floating within this space, cinematic portals glow with familiar perspectives of Noongar Boodja.
IN A NUTSHELL
The composers: Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse
The music sounds like: The music sounds like a contemporary piece that references old patterns and chants once sung by our ancestors.
The setting: An abstract depiction of York, Western Australia (Balladong Country).
The history: Wundig wer Wilura is a very old love story of the two hills, Mt Bakewell and Mt Brown in York, Western Australia. Two young people fall in love against their custom and lore and are banished to the opposing hills, forever to be separated until the hills crumble.
A quirky fact to impress your date: Djerabiny is the word used to describe “liking” something. You can “djerap” for ice cream, or football, for example. But when it applies to a person (or people) it takes on a whole new meaning. To call someone your “djerap” is to declare you “really like” them.