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Deborah Cheetham

Parrwang Lifts the Sky

Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse
19 Jun 2021

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 connected to Wadawurrung Country.



Digital Access

Parrwang Lifts the Sky Digital Access premiered on Saturday 19 June and is available on-demand until Sunday 19 December.

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)

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 Don Christopher
Mr Waa Kiran Rajasingam
Mrs Waa 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