Sonic Blossom

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Sonic Blossom
Photograph: Jacquie Manning
Helene Dahlberg performs in Lee MIngwei's 'Sonic Blossom', 2016.

Experience a live one-on-one opera experience for free at the MCA

Opera-curious punters should head to the MCA this winter for the chance to experience Lee Mingwei's internationally-acclaimed performance work Sonic Blossom: a live one-on-one performance in which a classically-trained opera singer performs one of five 'lieder' (songs) by Franz Schubert.

How does it work? It's a bit to do with being in the right place at the right time. From Thursday to Sunday, between noon and 4pm, visitors to the MCA exhibition Telling Tales might be approached by one of Lee's hand-selected performers, who will ask "May I give you the gift of song?"

If you answer yes, you will be led to a lone wooden chair within the exhibition gallery, where you will sit while the singer takes up a spot opposite you and delivers a personal performance of one of Schubert's lieder.

Singers taking part in the project, working one at a time in a roster, are: Michael Butchard, Helene Dahlberg, Keara Donohoe, Jane Ede, Ayse Goknur Shanal, Celeste Lazarenko, Bree Meara-Hendy, Andrew Moran and James Payne.

Lee, who has staged the work in Tokyo, New York and Seoul (among other places) says that people are moved both by the gesture of being sung to and by the music itself. “It’s really a gift between strangers,” he explains. “Often people start crying.”

Head to the MCA on Sunday October 9 – the last day of the Telling Tales exhibition – for 'The Last Song': a discussion with Lee Mingwei and some of the opera singers, who will share their experience performing this work.

By: Dee Jefferson

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