Koorlbardi wer Wardong: West Australian Opera’s new show sung in Noongar

The West Australian
Chris van Tuinen, Rob Scott, Gina Williams, Carolyn Chard, Guy Ghouse
Camera IconChris van Tuinen, Rob Scott, Gina Williams, Carolyn Chard, Guy Ghouse Credit: PerthVideo,

WA Opera is creating a new work that celebrates Aboriginal culture.

Koorlbardi wer Wardong will be performed in Noongar and tells how the koorlbardi (magpie) and the wardong (crow) became the birds we see today.

Noongar musicians Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse will lead the opera’s development.

They said they would be presenting a 3000-generation old uniquely West Australian story that would be “passed on for many generations”.

Music director Chris van Tuinen said there were few operas celebrating WA stories and “little or no” opera repertoire in Indigenous languages or based on Aboriginal stories. It is to hit the stage late next year.

West Australian Opera executive director Carolyn Chard said the commission provided an valuable chance to invest in artists and create new Australian work.

The project is being supported by Wesfarmers and is scheduled to appear on stage in September next year.

Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott says the arts had been hit hard this year.

“Ultimately, it’s initiatives like this that will help our arts sector re-emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, resilient and re-invigorated with new opportunities for growth and community engagement – which we will all be able to enjoy.”

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