PA/09/19 28 March 2019
Australia Fest to celebrate the ancient song-line of Australia’s Indigenous people for its closing act
After a successful run across 20 Indian cities since September 2018, Australia Fest will conclude with performances by internationally acclaimed Australian soprano and composer Deborah Cheetham in Mumbai and New Delhi.
Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Her Excellency Ms Harinder Sidhu said, “Over the past six months, we have presented over 100 events across 20 Indian cities to showcase many elements of Australian culture and creativity, including visual and performing arts, food, sport, science, film, design and literature.”
“Throughout Australia Fest, we have highlighted Australia’s Indigenous culture and history. I am delighted that Deborah Cheetham—well known for her exquisite musicianship—will be able to share the ancient song-line of Australia’s Indigenous people with Indian audiences. It is a fitting close to Australia Fest to have a performance that focuses on such important themes as nation, people, and place of belonging,” Ms Sidhu added.
A leader in the Australian arts landscape for over 25 years, Deborah Cheetham will share her unique life story and the journey she has taken to discover her belonging. She will present Songs of Belonging featuring Australian and Indian performers - pianist Toni Lalich, tabla master Pandit Ashis Sengupta and the members of Rubiks Collective, one of Australia's most dynamic contemporary art music ensembles.
Deborah said, “Songs of Belonging weaves together arias from the great operatic tradition of the 19th and 20th century with music from a much older tradition and reveals my own personal journey to find my belonging as Yorta Yorta woman and a member of the Stolen Generations.”
“Our performances in Mumbai and Delhi will include the world premiere of my latest composition—Woven Song: Article 27. This evocative work, written for soprano, tabla, woodwinds, percussion and piano, is a setting of the 27th Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and was inspired by the art and language of Pintupi artist Nanyuma Napangati and the magnificent tapestry (pictured below) created by the talented weavers at the Australian Tapestry Workshop which resides in the Residence of the Australian High Commissioner in New Delhi,” she added.
Deborah will perform at the enchanting Royal Opera House in Mumbai on 28 March (tickets: https://insider.in/songs-of-belonging-mar28-2019/event), and in New Delhi on 30 March (by invitation only). Complementing the tour, Deborah also conducted a music workshop with 50 students aged between 10-14 years in collaboration with the Enabling Leadership Foundation as part of its Music Basti initiative in Dharavi, Mumbai.
The tour has been supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.
Tapestry created by the talented weavers at the Australian Tapestry Workshop (Please credit image in the following way Image by John Gollings)
For more information on the Woven Song Series visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zx_-AvDCm5w&t=839s