Jenna Robertson

Opera, Music Theatre & Cabaret

Spirit Orphan: Opera in Development (Stage Two)

Spirit Orphan is a contemporary chamber opera and dance work in development by Creator and Performer Jenna Robertson and Composer and Sound Artist Corrina Bonshek.

Days Left

An Australian Chamber Opera and Dance Work In Development

LIBRETTO/TEXT: Beech Mountain Community, Alexandra Dunn and Jenna Robertson

Created in response to 2019 bushfire and evacuations in the Gold Coast Hinterland with a community-engaged practice, Spirit Orphan is an uplifting, moving work that invites questions about our origins, decolonisation and connection to place.

Spirit Orphan is being composed by Dr Corrina Bonshek for soprano (Jenna Robertson), chorus, dancers and a small instrumental ensemble. It is being developed with bushfire affected communities in mind, but zooms out to a global perspective, making it relevant to all people who live globalised lives and countries with colonisation in their history.

Second stage is due to be completed by end of April 2021, which will complete the opening scene of the work.

Spirit Orphan is an unapologetically ambitious work aiming to comment on an evolution of Australian society. In this work, Scottish-Australian soprano, Jenna Robertson, shares her post-bushfire recovery journey of deep exploration of her migrant identity in relationship to colonised land, in the hope that it might invite other non-Indigenous people to question and consider their own identity more deeply. A small step towards decolonisation at the individual level.

Spirit Orphan also aims to contribute to the conversation of the evolution of opera by testing a decolonised, alternative way of developing opera that flattens the power structure, empowers the singer as a creator, and engages community in the development of the work.

Development commenced in 2019 and first stage development was completed in August 2020 funded by Arts Queensland. The team are seeking donations to contribute to further development funding, to continue the development of the project.

Donations are being sought to contribute to the expenses of the next development step. The next steps include further development of the artistic concept, building the creative team, further text and libretto work, and further community engagement before commencing the next phase of composition by Corrina Bonshek. The end result of this development period will be the creation of the beginning scene of the opera, building upon the music which was created in First Stage Development.

To find out more about the project, please visit:

Live Projects


Scottish-Australian Jenna Robertson is a freelance opera singer and independent opera maker based in Queensland, Australia. Jenna currently balances a national portfolio of work in leading community-engaged opera projects, the creation of new opera, and as a freelance opera singer (soprano).

As an operatic soloist, Jenna has performed fourteen leading roles in three Australian states, and has appeared as soloist with seven different Australian orchestras. In 2021 she will perform the title role in La traviata in NSW and WA.

Known for her community-engaged practice in the opera projects she leads, she is a member of the 2021 Australia Council for the Arts Future Leaders cohort, a current Board Member for peak body PAC Australia, and was one of thirty selected globally for the 2020 inaugural Producer Academy with Beth Morrison Projects (global leaders in contemporary opera making, New York, USA).

In 2019-2021 Jenna is Creative Producer and Soprano for La traviata, a community-engaged opera project for the Albany Entertainment Centre, WA; and Creator and Performer for Spirit Orphan, a chamber opera and dance work in development, in response to bushfire experiences in 2019.


Karine Dupre