Experience the history of the Convent like never before at this world premiere performance of Andrew Aronowicz’s “The Abbotsford Mysteries’, based on Patricia Sykes’ evocative book of poetry of the same name. This song cycle is an intensely intimate and evocative exploration that draws together multiple strands of the Convent’s history, performed by leading contralto Liane Keegan and the vibrant and versatile PLEXUS collective – comprising of Monica Curro (violin), Philip Arkinstall (clarinet), and Stefan Cassomenos (piano).
Stories both light and dark will be woven together in an abstract narrative that tells the moving account of life for the various girls and women inhabiting the Convent during its period as a monastic site (1863 – 1975). Sykes herself was a child at the Convent, and interviewed over seventy people to research her book of poems. Aronowicz and Sykes have worked closely together to convey the incredible emotional weight and social significance of these stories, introducing a new perspective for visitors of the site.
This performance will mark the premiere of the work that will then be launched as a free podcast, available to all visitors of the Convent. The evening will also involve an interview and discussion with Patricia Sykes about the process of creating the libretto.
Composer – Andrew Aronowicz
Librettist – Patricia Sykes
Contralto – Liane Keegan
Plexus Ensemble – Monica Curro, Stefan Cassomenos, Philip Arkinstall
Producer – Sascha Kelly
This production is presented in partnership with the Abbotsford Convent Foundation, and supported by Creative Victoria and Spinifex Press.
Not suitable for all ages, this show contains adult concepts, including the discussion of sexual content and acknowledgement of abuse.