A new work by a local composer on a timeless theme: the story of William Buckley – and the short-lived convict settlement on the beautiful but unforgiving southern Mornington Peninsula – retold according to historical texts (Richard Cotter, libretto) for and with the local community, using a top professional baritone and other professional performers.
It is proposed to give two performances in conjunction with the Rosebud Astral Theatre Society (Astral) and the Peninsula Chamber Musicians in the Memorial Hall in Rosebud on 4 and 5 May 2019 as part of the 2019 National Trust Australian Heritage Festival. Fundraising and casting in 2018; rehearsals in late 2018; stage rehearsals in April 2019. The composer, Antony Ransome, will conduct.
The project is something for the whole local community to engage in. People need to know more about a local hero and there has never been an opera about William Buckley’s life. Opera is only available on the Southern Peninsula in films shown in the Rosebud and Sorrento cinemas. The concept and value of opera needs to be underlined for the local community. Our non-profit organisation has been formed solely to create this project under the auspices and with the collaboration of the Rosebud Astral Theatre Society. As we have no money behind us, only energy and goodwill, we will need financial assistance to the tune of around $40,000.
Donations will be used to pay performers, music printing, hall hire, staging and publicity costs. Tickets @$35 will be available in advance for performances on 4 and 5 May 2019. (Hall capacity is about 180.) Publicity will be via Astral’s website and via contact to local organisations and schools as well as the press and leaflets and posters. The National Trust will advertise the project in its publications, as the performances will form part of its 2019 Heritage Festival. Friends of the 1803 Settlement, Nepean Historical Society and Peninsula Chamber Musicians can also spread the word.