As Indigenous Opera Pecan Summer gets ready for its first performance at the Sydney Opera House, NITV has selected some classical gems by Australia's first peoples
Sophie Verass

10 Sep 2016 - 9:55 AM  UPDATED 10 Sep 2016 - 10:07 AM


Dali Mana Gamarada - Deborah Cheetham (ft. Wicked Beat Sound System)

Classical opera with a contemporary twist, 'Dali Mana Gamarada' was orignially performed by Deborah Cheetham as part of the 'welcome to country' during Sydney 2000 Olympic Opening Ceremony.


Jessica Hitchcock (ft. the Pecan Summer Children's Chorus)


Staring in the first Indigenous opera that has pulled at the heart strings of people across the country, Jessica Hitchcock plays main character, Alice, a Yorta Yorta girl who was taken from her family in the 1930s.

Jessica is a graduate of the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney and in the last five years, she has made a stunning transition from a Jazz background into the world of Opera.


'John Wayne' - Tiriki Onus and Richard Frankland

Yorta Yorta bass baritone Tiriki Onus grew up in Melbourne and spent ten years as a successful visual artist, art conservator and exhibition curator before he began singing professionally. He received the Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust’s Harold Blair Opera Scholarship in 2012 and 2013.

In this video, Onus demonstrates how his operatic low voice can translate into other styles of music, as he harmonises with roots guitarist Richard Frankland. 


Si, mi chiamano Mimi - Shauntai Batzke with Tenor Michael Lapina

Wiradjuri Soprano Shauntai Batzke singing Puccini's Si, mi chiamano Mimi with Australian repetiteur Toni Lalich and Australian Tenor Michael Lapina at the Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre.

Shauntai is an established Gospel singer/songwriter based in Sydney. In 2012, Shauntai was featured in Archie Roach’s album as part of the Gospel ensemble Into the Bloodstream.


'How Great Thou Art' - Harold Blair and the choir of the Ditch Choral Society

One of Australia's music greats, Harold Blair was born in Cherbourg, Queensland in the early 1920s. While working in a laboring role as a teenager in country Australia, Blair entered a radio talent quest in early 1945, and received a record tally of listeners' votes. 

In 1945, Blair entered the Melba Conservatorium in Melbourne and earned a Diploma of Music with honours in 1949. He went on to be an international musician and during his career, an activist of Indigenous rights. 

Tickets for Pecan Summer Monday 12 September can be purchased through the Sydney Opera House website

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