Award-winning composer Iain Grandage and librettist Alison Croggon breathe new life into Tim Winton’s gripping portrait about the panic and terror of someone suddenly bereft of love. When the unthinkable happens, Scully, a decent hearted Australian embarks on a race across Europe desperately trying to locate his missing wife, with his young daughter Billie in tow. A bold reimagining of an acclaimed Australian novel, with a score featuring bouzoukis, piano accordions, fiddles and the sublime recorder playing of Genevieve Lacey. Directed by Malthouse Theatre’s Artistic Director Marion Potts.
The Riders is presented by Victorian Opera and Malthouse Theatre.
Supported by Victorian Opera New Work Syndicate
Composer Iain Grandage
Librettist Alison Croggon
Conductor Richard Mills
Director Marion Potts
Set & Costume Designer Dale Ferguson
Lighting Designer Matt Scott
Scully Barry Ryan
Jennifer Jessica Aszodi
Billie Isabela Calderon
Arthur Jerzy Kozlowski
Marianne Dimity Shepherd
Alex David Rogers - Smith
Merlyn, The Coopers Malthouse
90 minutes with no interval. #Accessible performance.
2014 Season packages have now closed. Single tickets now available to purchase via Malthouse Theatre
*School group booking of 10. One free Adult ticket per school group
Find our more about our accessible peformances >
Victorian Opera's for Schools program offers an unique experience for students to experience the world of opera, enhance their musical eductation and have fun. View our Education Brochure online, download a printable version or visit our website to find out how we can tailor an opera experience for your students >
90 minutes with no interval
Act One Scully is renovating his house in Ireland, waiting for his wife Jennifer and his daughter Billie to join him from Perth. Jennifer, Billie and Scully sing together, and we hear the hint of shadows in the marriage. Scully has his first vision of The Riders. We glimpse Billie seated with Jennifer on a plane, reading her favourite book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Meanwhile Scully waits at Shannon Airport. Only Billie arrives.
Act Two In Greece, Arthur, a British expatriate, stands in a bar thinking of the Australian family who left six weeks before. Scully turns up with Billie in tow, aggressively questioning Arthur about his suspicions that Jennifer has left him for the painter Alex. Mad with jealousy, Scully drags Billie off to confront Alex, but Jennifer isn’t there. When he returns to the bar, he is told that Alex is dead and the police believe Scully is responsible. He is about to flee with Billie when she is attacked by a dog.
Act Three Billie and Scully travel to Italy where they discover that Jennifer is in Paris. Billie is increasingly ill from the dog bite and a desperate Scully visits Jennifer’s Parisian friend Marianne. She taunts Scully, accusing him of beating Jennifer, and he steals her wallet and runs off. Drunk, Scully glimpses Jennifer and chases her into Notre Dame, where he has has a vision of Jennifer as the Madonna. In his darkest despair, Billie saves him. They return to Ireland, where Scully sees The Riders for the last time.
© Alison Croggon
"★★★★ (The Riders) is an opera of rare dramatic power, utmost musicality and first-rate performances” – The Age
“Together, Victorian Opera and Malthouse Theatre have created a bewitching jewel of contemporary music theatre” – The Australian
“In presenting a new work of this quality, Victorian Opera’s dedication to the art form is unmatched by any other arts company this year." – Man in a Chair
Immerse yourself in the world of opera with our The Riders programme! Read the notes from the composer, librettist, director and conductor and find out what it takes to put a new Australian opera together. VIEW PROGRAMME ONLINE >
View The Riders photo album ONLINE >
Look behind the curtain as composer Iain Grandage, conductor Richard Mills and director Marion Potts share their insight in turning Tim Winton's acclaimed novel into a brand new opera. WATCH ON YOUTUBE >
Get a sneak peek of the rehearsal room for The Riders. Image - Barry Ryan (Scully): © Charlie Kinross. VIEW THE ALBUM >
The Riders composer Iain Grandage (pictured) and librettist Alison Croggon share their thoughts on the creative process behind creating an new Australian opera in our Behind the Curtain Blog. READ ON >
Image: © Charlie Kinross
Composer Iain Grandage recently wrote a piece for Limelight Magazine about his new opera The Riders. READ THE EXCERPT >