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Video streamed event and on demand: Australian Chamber Opera: Kate Kelly

Watch online on www.gertrudeopera.com.auGertrude OperaRecorded at Healesville, Healesville, VIC, Australia
Dates/times in your browser's time zone
Friday 23 October 202021:00
On demand until Saturday 24 October 2020 21:00

The Kate Kelly Song Cycle, a creative collaboration by composer Ross James Carey and writer Merrill Findlay, re-interprets the life of one of Australia’s most iconic women, the youngest sister of bushranger Ned Kelly.

The chamber opera emerged from Merrill’s Kate Kelly Project. It was first performed in Forbes in September 2011, as the headline act for inaugural Kalari-Lachlan River Arts Festival, beside the lagoon in which Kate Kelly’s body was found in 1898.

Kate Kelly, the sister of bushranger Ned, is a folk hero, an icon, a legend in Australia. She was born in Victoria in 1863, and, by 1880, the year Ned was captured at Glenrowan, was a household name, a teenage celebrity as famous (or infamous) as the celebrities we read about it the populist press today. People queued to meet her and to watch her ride. They bought postcards of her in her mourning outfit, a fashionable black silk riding habit.

And then she disappeared. She fled her fame, her family, her friends, the north-eastern Victorian hill country she had grown up in. She changed her name several times, and re-emerged, in the mid-1880s, on the flat inland plains of New South Wales between the towns of Forbes and Condobolin, where she found a job as a domestic servant at Cadow, a large pastoral station on the Lachlan River.

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