Women in War - Contemporary Opera Composer’s Statement
The collaboration of artists from three different cultures for the creation and presentation of a new operatic work is a challenge on its own. That very challenge however contains within it the immense potentiality of a creative exploration into untreaded waters, onto paths not yet walked on. A magical journey indeed!
The artists that joined their creative forces for the manifestation of this work - from a blank page to a full scale production - each has their individual artistic compass which in this project has pointed towards a common destination: to create something unique, something that while drawing on the human experiences surrounding a significant historical event yet gleans a future of hope, of reconciliation and a collective consciousness of the common human condition. We have joined our extensive, distinctive experience in theatre and the moving image, and using an innovative cinematic approach in form and structure, we unfold an emotionally potent narrative in 21 scenes, deviating significantly from the traditional opera form.
Blending musical styles, rhythms, cultural nuances, the work delves into the contrasting mindsets of three women heroines - an Australian nurse, a Turkish mother and a Greek war widow- during the Gallipoli Campaign / Battle of Çanakkale. A 110-minute large scale work combining a symphonic dramatic score, a chorus as commentator/observer with movement as in ancient drama and a cast of Australian/international artists delivering our collective effort delivers a work of truly cultural synthesis.
I hope that you will enjoy the opera, as much as I have enjoyed working on it.
Tassos Ioannides - Composer/Producer
A professional composer and producer of thirty five years, he has composed music for film, television and theatre, major symphonic works for orchestra and mixed chorus, instrumental music and children's songs arranged for symphony orchestra.
In 1983, as a Composer-in-Residence with the Victorian Trades Hall Council, he composed a 'documentary in music', 19 songs on the lives of migrant working men and women. The work premiered at the Melbourne Concert Hall, was televised by SBS Television an broadcast on Greek national TV.
As a composer-in-residence with the Melbourne Theatre Company, he composed music for ten major theatrical productions including Shakespeare's 'Othello', 'Much ado about nothing', and Arthur Miller's 'A view from a bridge'.
In 1994, he won the APRA award for 'Film Score of the Year' for the feature film 'The Silver Brumby' starring Russell Crowe. In 1997-98, he composed music for the children's animation series 'The Silver Brumby' (39 episodes x 30 minutes), which has been screened in Australia and more than 100 countries.
In 2001, his symphonic oratorio 'Apocalypse - The Revelations of St John the Divine' was performed at the Acropolis 'Herod Atticus' amphitheatre, by the ERT Symphony Orchestra, an 80 member mixed chorus and four soloists.
For the past few years, he has focused on songwriting for children. In collaboration with educational specialists, he has been using music - in particular melody - as a medium through which children can develop their learning skills. He has created over 100 children's songs, released on CD (platinum sales) and has authored educational and children's literature and music books. In 2012, he wrote the libretto and music for a children's musical titled 'Lahana & Hahana'. The musical has been produced in Greece, staged for three consecutive years with audiences exceeding 80,000 and excellent reviews. He has also written the children's musical 'The Walnut and the Christmas Cake' based on his own literary book, produced for two consecutive seasons and due to be re-staged in the coming Christmas.
His music has been released in 15 personal albums.