Les Mamelles de Tiresias

Les Mamelles de Tiresias Chapel off Chapel 2018
Photograph: Supplied

Gender norms are exploded in this 1940s operatic farce

If you don't speak French, you probably wouldn't know that the title of Francis Poulenc’s comic opera Les Mamelles de Tirésias translates to "The Breasts of Tirésias". And what happens to those breasts? Thérèse is sick of being cast aside because of her gender, so she decides to make a change. In the first act, her breasts turn into balloons and float away, and the female Thérèse becomes the male Tirésias. Her husband is forced to take up childbirth.

The opera pulls in elements of cabaret and burlesque, and this intimate production is accompanied by two pianos. Director Cathy Hunt is bringing the action forth to the 1980s, when questions about women "having it all" were front of mind.

Kate Macfarlane will play Thérèse and Sun Aria finalist Raphael Wong will play her husband.

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