Queensland floods inspire world-first opera

A unique Australian opera performance inspired by the courage and resilience of those who lived through the devastating floods of 2011 will take to the stage across Queenslandfrom Thursday 18 September.

The world premiere of Floods will be launched in partnership with Brisbane Festival, before taking to the road travelling to the Sunshine Coast, Bundaberg, Toowoomba and Ipswich.

Four composers have each contributed a twenty minute opera inspired by this theme of ‘flood’, with each responding to the challenge in ways that vary from the traditional to the abstract.

To present these four works, a dynamic cast of young singers and instrumentalists from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University will pay an evocative homage to the spirit within us all, that when called upon, can rise and triumph in the face of adversity.


Floods Director Gregory Massingham says the new Australian work explores the 2011 inundation as both a dramatic narrative and as a metaphor for the sometimes overwhelming aspects of modern life.

“In such times we often resort to flood metaphors, we ‘try to keep our heads above water’, ‘weather a storm’ or ‘tread water’; we can feel ‘adrift’ and welcome the offer of a ‘life line’,” he explains.

“We hope that our performance of these works will provide the community with a variety of insights into this common experience – not only the physical and psychological effects of its impact, but also of the spirit that rises above such misfortunes.

“Each composer has brought a unique musical perspective to the overall work, which combines instrumental, vocal, digital and interactive media,” Mr Massingham says.



‘Rising’ by Dr Kim Cunio highlights the emotions of fear and isolation in adversity; ‘A Water Parable’ from Gerard Brophy relates an ancient flood myth from the Puranic scriptures of India; “Flood” by Dr Gerardo Dirie probes the anticipation of an approaching force; and “Buninyong” by Dr Stephen Cronin blends past and present calamities in examining the impact upon individuals and communities.

“The sometimes experimental yet largely thoughtful reflections of these dramatic events will be sure to touch the minds and hearts of all who hear them,” Mr Massingham continues.

“We invite people of all ages across the state to witness this new piece of Queensland culture as we come together to celebrate such remarkable strength and resilience.”


World Premiere
18 & 20 September, Brisbane
Queensland Conservatorium Theatre
In association with Brisbane Festival

24 September, Toowoomba
Empire Theatre, Toowoomba

26 September, Ipswich
George Hogg Auditorium, Ipswich Civic Centre

2 October, Buderim
Matthew Flinders Auditorium, Buderim

4 October, Bundaburg
Moncrieff Theatre, Bundaberg

Tickets for all venues are available for purchase through conevents.com.au.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Marino, 0418 799 544, [email protected]