In a Western Australian first, five companies unite to present a work for young people, performed by young people, for all to enjoy. The Nightingale to be presented at His Majesty’s Theatre is a collaboration between West Australian Opera, Co:3 Australia, WA Youth Orchestra, WA Young Voices and features as the closing weekend of the 2020 AWESOME Festival during the October school holidays.

Based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen, this re-imagining of the opera will take Andersen’s fairytale to far away land filled with stories, magic and mystery. The Emperor (sung by baritone Matthew Dixon) will be transformed into a travelling storyteller of tales old, new and forgotten. As the story goes, he is enchanted by the singing of a nightingale bird (voiced by West Australian Young Voices and performed by Co:3 Australia dancer Zoe Wozniak) but when he is gifted a mechanical nightingale version, he becomes obsessed with his new toy and the real nightingale flies away.

“The Nightingale is a work about storytelling and how every story is curated through the lens of the teller. My production of The Nightingale explores the conflict between truth and lies, reality and illusion. It’s a journey through a shadowland of storytelling as the Emperor of Stories learns the hard lesson: not to judge a “book” by its cover. I’m trying to imbue the show with a playfulness that might not only entertain the audience, but ignite their imagination to go home and create, to have a go at singing, have a go at designing a stage or writing a story. This opera presents an exceptional opportunity through dance, singing, music and costumes to inspire young and old minds alike. The power of musical storytelling should not be underestimated, especially under the magical illusion that is live theatre ” said Matt Reuben James Ward, Director and Designer

In a season that will harness the next generation of WA talent, The Nightingale is a magical story that will remind audiences of the beauty of nature and the power of friendship.

“This project was proudly conceived as collaborative means to support artistic development of youth across a variety of art disciplines and enable youth audiences to enjoy a work that was produced with and by their peers. We are excited to premier this work with our presenting partners and create performance opportunities for WA Youth Orchestra, Co:3 Australia, WA Young Voices and WAO’s Wesfarmers’ Arts Young Artists who feature in Principal roles and as our Conductor and Repetiteur” said Chris van Tuinen, West Australian Opera, Music Director.

Working with DADAA, this season will ensure the production is accessible for all young people and will promote social inclusion by removing barriers to attendance for both artists and audiences with low cost tickets and a Relaxed performance, supported by Lotterywest.

“We believe that presenting enriching stories for young people is a shared responsibility and that together, in this partnership of collaborative organisations, we can make the biggest impact. We are proud to be returning to live performance even while noting that we remain in Phase 4 a little longer which means smaller audience capacities in the beautiful His Majesty’s Theatre. We are pleased to be able spread some joy to audiences young and old by sparking imaginations with a little bit of magic, something particularly needed in these times” said Carolyn Chard AM, West Australian Opera, Executive Director.

West Australian Opera presents


HIS MAJESTY’S THEATRE 3 & 4 October 2020

Conductor: Leanne Puttick
Director & Designer: Matt Reuben James Ward
Featuring Co:3 Australia, WA Youth Orchestra, WA Young Voices as part of The AWESOME Festival