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Deborah Cheetham

Parrwang Lifts the Sky

Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse
19 Jun 2021

We regret that due to the impacts of the extended COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria, we are unable to present Parrwang Lifts the Sky as a live, in-theatre performance as planned. (See more details below)

Did you know that magpies created the first dawn?*

A long time ago…

The sky was a blanket on the land. The earth was in darkness and the people were afraid. It was a very sad state of affairs and would have stayed that way except for the courage of Parrwang the Magpie.

Tjatjarrang (Big Sister) and Koki (Brother) are young, adventurous and tired of living in the dark. When they manage to climb to the highest branches of an ancient gum tree, they discover an exciting new world and a steadfast friend in Parrwang, who decides to help the young humans lift the blanket of darkness from the ground. 

A plan is devised, but can Parrwang convince the Great Council of Birds to agree?

*Based on a traditional story from Wadawurrung Country.




Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse

Saturday 12 June 2021, 11.00 am - cancelled
Saturday 12 June 2021, 2.00 pm - cancelled
Saturday 12 June 2021, 5.00 pm - cancelled

Saturday 19 June 2021, 2.00 pm - Digital Access performance

50 min, no interval

Sung in English and Wadawurrung language with scene descriptors

Relaxed Performance - Friday 11 June 2021, 1.00 pm - cancelled

Parrwang Lifts the Sky Update

All performances scheduled for Friday 11 June 1.00 pm (Relaxed Performance) and Saturday 12 June have been cancelled due to the impacts of the extended COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria.

Additionally, the Digital Access performance, originally scheduled to livestream on Saturday 12 June, 2.00 pm has been rescheduled to Saturday 19 June at 2.00 pm.

We are heartbroken at the disruption to this world premiere family opera, which we've worked very hard to bring to the stage in association with Short Black Opera.

Ticket holders may request one of the following options:

  • Exchange your booking to our Digital Access viewing option
  • Refund the price of all tickets to the original payment method.

If you have not received an email from us and want to update your ticket option preference, you can do so here.

Exchanging to Digital Access | Saturday 19 June, 2.00 pm

For ticket holders who exchange from an in-theatre booking to Digital Access the exchange price will be based on the highest value ticket type in your original order (e.g. Adult, Concession, Senior, 30years &  Under). We will then deduct that cost (either $30 or $28) from your total original order and refund the difference. Only one Digital Access ticket per exchange booking is required.

Digital Access pricing:

  • Adult $30 
  • Concession / Senior / 30years & Under $28

Detailed login instructions and tips will be sent to all customers who choose this option. All exchanges or refunds will be processed via Arts Centre Melbourne.

Our ticketing team are here to assist you. For any urgent concerns or questions, please contact us via email or phone (03) 9001 6412 (Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm). We appreciate your patience with this process.

Digital Access

Parrwang Lifts the Sky Digital Access has been reschedule to premiere on Saturday 19 June at 2.00 pm. Digital Access allows you to watch on the day and on-demand for six months following the performance date. You can purchase Digital Access as part of a subscription package (2+ performances) or as an individual performance.

Digital Subscription $24
Digital Access $30
(Processing fees apply per order)

Please note: You do not need to re-purchase via our website if you are exchanging your in-theatre tickets to Digital Access. It will be processed via Arts Centre Melbourne. If you have not received an email from us and want to update your in-theatre ticket option preference, you can do so here.

Creatives & Cast

Composer and Librettist Deborah Cheetham
Conductor Richard Mills
Director Elizabeth Hill-Cooper, assisted by Deborah Cheetham
Cultural Scenic Design BJ O’Toole
Cultural Textile Design Deanne Gilson
Set and Costume Designer Mel Serjeant
Lighting Designer Peter Darby
Orchestra Victorian Opera Chamber Ensemble


Parrwang Rebecca Rashleigh
Gorngany Deborah Cheetham
Bunjil / Father Don Christopher
Mr Waa Kiran Rajasingam
Mrs Waa / Mother Shauntai Batzke
Tjatjarrang Jess Hitchcock
Koki Michael Petruccelli

Parrwang Lifts the Sky image by Ammie Howell and BJ O’Toole

Book Tickets

Single Tickets $38

Price Type One Reserve
Adult $38
Concession $33
Senior $33
30 Years & Under $30
Child $28
Family Offer (2 Adults / 2 Child) $112
Arts Access $30

In-theatre tickets will go on sale according to current Victorian COVID-Safe guidelines. Changes to restrictions may result in changes to seating configurations in our venues. Should this happen, unfortunately we are unable to accommodate requests to change seating. 

Single ticket fees and charges (Arts Centre Melbourne): Online orders may be subject to a Service Charge of up to $8.95 per order, plus any optional additional postage charges. Ticket delivery options for Arts Centre Melbourne include Mobile Ticket (No Charge) or Collect from the venue (Add $5.00). For more information on Mobile Ticket delivery, please see the venue website.

Digital Access ticket orders include a $1.50 (inc. GST) processing fee per order. Digital Access subscriptions include a $2.50 (inc. GST) processing fee per order.

Subscriptions closed Wednesday 24 February. For changes to Subscriptions, please phone the Victorian Opera Subscription line on 1300 822 849 (Monday to Friday, 9:30am-4:30pm).

Concession subscription prices are available to Pension and Health Care Card holders, full-time Students and MEAA Members. Ticket prices are correct at time of publishing and may vary. A booking fee may apply. Price reserve maps for this production can be found on our Venue Information page. Information on our Privacy and Ticketing Policies can be found here.

We strongly advise that tickets only be purchased from authorised ticket sellers. For Parrwang Lifts the Sky these may include Arts Centre Melbourne, Tix, TakeYourSeats and Halftix. Tickets purchased through unauthorised sellers cannot be guaranteed. 

In association with

Short Black Opera

This production is supported by

Jane Hemstritch