In January 1978, after his third campaign for a position on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, forty seven year old camera salesman Harvey Milk made history by becoming the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in America.
Ten months later, having secured the city’s first gay rights ordinance, Harvey was shot and killed by fellow City Supervisor Dan White.
“The outpouring of grief following Harvey’s death and the passion his achievements inspired continue to fuel a movement the world over,” says producer Cameron Lukey. “With the upcoming plebiscite looming, Harvey’s story could not be more timely for an Australian audience.”
Following an acclaimed performance in Melbourne earlier this year as part of the Midsumma Festival, Left Bauer Productions (Playing Rock Hudson, Master Class) is thrilled to be joining forces with the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir to celebrate Harvey’s indelible legacy.
“Harvey Milk’s story has all the right ingredients for classic opera,” says SGLC Music Director Sarah Penicka-Smith. “Passion, political intrigue, love and sexuality, and a hero prepared to give his life for his beliefs.”
“Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir is thrilled to be tackling the demanding chorus work in Harvey Milk and to set the backdrop for the story of one of the twentieth century’s gay icons. This opera will remind you both how much things have changed, and also how much still needs to change.”
Harvey Milk – The Opera in Concert presents excerpts from Wallace and Korie’s opera, featuring a chorus of sixty and five of Australia’s finest music theatre and operatic talents.
“To be bringing this performance to the Sydney Town Hall is a full circle moment for us,” says Lukey. “I first approached the City of Sydney with the idea in 2010. After six years and several attempts, we’re finally able to share this incredible music and story with a Sydney audience.”
After acclaimed productions in Houston, New York, San Francisco and Berlin, composer Stewart Wallace and librettist Michael Korie (whose musical Doctor Zhivago premiered in Australia and is now heading to Broadway) have been following the progression of this incarnation since 2010, and are “thrilled to see Harvey Milk performed in Australia.”
“Harvey Milk – the Opera was an example of how this medium can still tell important stories, wrestle with contemporary issues and deliver them to a modern audience.” – Sascha Kelly, Limelight
Director: Cameron Lukey Cast: Jud Arthur, Jacob Caine, Edward Grey, Angela Hogan, Tod Strike, Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir Conductor: Sarah Penicka-Smith Accompanist: Chris Cartner Percussionist: Louis Sharpe Producers: Michele Bauer & Cameron Lukey
Harvey Milk – The Opera in Concert
Sydney Town Hall, 483 George Street, Sydney
Performance: Sunday 15 November 2015 – 5.00pm
For more information, visit: www.leftbauerproductions.com for details.
Image: courtesy of Left Bauer Productions