The Riders 2016
West Australian Opera’s first main-stage production in the 2016 season will feature The Riders, the critically acclaimed new Australian work based on the novel by Tim Winton.
Multi-award winning Western Australian composer Iain Grandage and Melbourne-based librettist Alison Croggon have re-imagined Winton’s gripping portrait about everyone’s worst nightmare: the disappearance of a loved one.
The Riders tells the deeply personal and spiritual story of Scully, an ordinary Australian man living abroad in Ireland who sets off across Europe on a frantic search for his wife, Jennifer, after she fails to arrive in Ireland to be re-united with him. Overwhelmed by suspicion, jealousy and pain, Scully’s behaviour becomes more irrational as his journey take him to Greece, Italy and France with his young daughter, Billie, in tow. It is Billie’s intuitive and innocent comprehension of a father’s need for love that saves him in his darkest hour.
13 Apr, 2016 - 16 Apr, 2016Watch Trailer
About the show
Scully is renovating his house in Ireland, waiting for his wife Jennifer and his daughter Billie to join him from Perth. Jennifer, Billie and Scully sing together, and we hear the hint of shadows in the marriage. Scully has his first vision of The Riders. We glimpse Billie seated with Jennifer on a plane, reading her favourite book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Meanwhile Scully waits at Shannon Airport. Only Billie arrives.
In Greece, Arthur, a British expatriate, stands in a bar thinking of the Australian family who left six weeks before. Scully turns up with
Billie, questioning Arthur about his suspicions that Jennifer has left him for the painter Alex. Mad with jealousy, Scully drags Billie off to confront Alex, but Jennifer isn’t there. When he returns to the bar, he is told Alex is dead and the police believe Scully is responsible. He is about to flee with Billie when she is attacked by a dog.
Billie and Scully travel to Italy where they discover that Jennifer is in Paris. Billie is becoming increasingly ill from the dog bite and in desperation Scully goes to Jennifer’s friend Marianne in Paris. She taunts Scully, accusing him of beating Jennifer, and he steals her wallet and runs off. Drunk, Scully glimpses Jennifer and chases her into Notre Dame, where he has had a vision of Jennifer as the Madonna. In his darkest despair, Billie saves him. They return to Ireland, where Scully sees The Riders for the last time.
CAST AND CREATIVE
Composer – Iain Grandage
Librettist – Alison Croggon
Conductor – Brad Cohen
Director – Marion Potts
Set and Costume Designer – Dale Ferguson
Lighting Designer – Matt Scott
Sound Designer – Guy Smith
Scully – James Clayton
Jennifer – Emma Pearson
Billie – Mia Beattie and Rosanna Radici
Arthur – Wade Kernot
Marianne – Fiona Campbell
Alex – Matthew Lester
Featuring Genevieve Lacey (Recorders)
West Australian Opera Chorus
West Australian Symphony Orchestra