The Space Between is mesmerising.

This new work had its world premiere at the Arts Centre Melbourne.

The Space Between is a profound operatic theatrical song cycle, based on snippets of Emma Matthews’ journey. It is multi-layered, covering elements of any performers life, and expands within the complexity to other general aspects of life which is very relatable to all.

From the very beginning, you are captivated, into the space between the end of a dramatic operatic scene and the finale; the space between, the one note, that lingers, to where the next note begins.

This exquisite journey features the collaboration of Australians multi Helpmann awarded Soprano Emma Matthews, with the very talented composer Paul Grabowsky AO, written by master wordsmith Steve Vizard, and featuring one of Australia’s highly awarded jazz saxophonist Jamie Oehlers.

Emma Matthews one

This production is a prime example of “less is more”. The intimate setting of the Fairfax Studio is the perfect venue, which provides the closeness that is demanded by the performance.

The minimal, but yet simplistic, set design provides a number of different staging levels, that enhance the production. The direction by Leticia Caceres provides wonderful coverage and acting positions for Matthews.

Everything is on stage, there are no hiding places, and Matthews is incredible in this seventy-minute one-act production. Her energy, and high level of engagement, is captivating. This production highlights not only aspects of her operatic performances through dramatic song, but also her acting ability, as she moves between the mindful experiences portrayed.

Matthews outshines as she holds the audience with every gesture and silent pause; only a person of her high calibre would be able to sustain the level and pace of engagement, finishing as strong as when she started.

Emma Matthews three

The crossovers from opera to jazz provides depth, just as life is not always on the one level. The introduction of this fusion brings with it new elements to classical opera. The emotional aspects that are musically added to the operatic landscape is a masterpiece, with credit to both Grabowsky at the piano and Oehelers on the saxophone.

Lighting designer Nick Schlieper makes full advantage of the musical variances to enhance the senses, drawing the audience further into the emotional experience of the performance.

Matthews’ custom gown, which is designed by Esther and Rebecca Hayes, is a perfect combination of material and style, allowing freedom of movement and the elegance that is expected within an opera.

Emma Matthews two

The Space Between is a very rewarding experience both in terms of the very high standard of performance and the musical accomplishments.


The Space Between is now playing at the Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne.

For details and tickets: CLICK HERE