a contemporary opera by Rose Riebl
THE HOUSE 2022 OPERA COMMISSION
Music from REVERENCE, video from SALT 360. unmute for sound
Dawn. The wind whips through the empty city. The women emerge from their hiding places now that the fighting has stopped.
REVERENCE is a gentle journey into the depths of grief. Inspired by the story of Antigone, this story began with one girl in Ancient Greece, and has repeated for centuries through generations of women. It is a heroine's journey through an evocative soundscape, arriving in a shared catharsis and a chance to see things anew.
Over 9 choral movements, the traditional format of an operatic requiem, 3 female voices explore the harmony and dissonance of grief and womanhood. REVERENCE invites new and young audiences into an immersive vocal world. Performed in the round, REVERENCE envelops the audience in dynamic piano, voice, percussion, and sound design, drawing on classical, post-classical, pop and experimental music.
a community chorus
Reverence is performed by soloists from The House that Dan Built with a chorus of up to 60 women drawn from the local community
“It was moving and dramatic. You felt like you were experiencing what it would be like to die and go through death and all the feelings and emotions that go with it.”
“I thought it was really beautiful, I felt very held by it in a really interesting way. And I think while it was dark, it was a deeper sound than I’ve heard before - especially in opera - but it felt really soft as well. Having that contrast between the darkness and the soft was really beautiful”
“I loved it. It felt otherworldly.” - teenage girl
“I manage a bereavement counseling service and often when you’re bereaved you’re really sensory sensitive. Reverence captures grief without the big shock and horror that really activates your nervous system. I just thought it was beautiful. I think that solemn grief conversation has been lost in the world so I totally loved it. I think it’s a really healing piece for people who feel sadness about any loss, but in death and dying these pieces really matter.”
“I think that issues such as loss and death and motherhood aren’t talked about enough in art, and music as well. I’ve never seen an opera about that before. It was just very poignant.”
“I was very saddened when I saw all the darkness and the grief and I thought that was kind of depressing, but in the end they arose and I thought that was very uplifting. I think it’s important to watch this show because you can learn how there’s darkness but then the darkness passes.” - eleven year old
“The show was visceral. It was so beautiful. I really felt the singers, I felt like they were speaking directly to me. I felt gripped by them. It was just wonderful.”
“I thought it was wonderfully atmospheric, it was a beautifully intricate piece and also very sad, but in a good way - you could kind of sit with sadness. Lots of things came up for me from my life that I wasn’t expecting to come up”
Rose Riebl is a pianist and post-classical composer. Her work as a professional concert pianist has seen her perform in some of Asia and Australia’s leading concert halls; her compositional work extends her intimate relationship with the piano into a realm of more fragile, soulful and transcendent works that guide the listener into vulnerable emotional spaces.
Emily Edmunds, Alya Meyer, and Jayden Selvakumaraswamy.
set and costume design
Tobhiyah Stone Feller