::fibreculture:: Julian Assange, the opera

Geert Lovink geert at xs4all.nl
Thu Nov 10 10:13:06 CET 2011


Julian Assange, the opera: Wikileaks brought to book

Opera Australia has started work on an opera based on the life of  
Julian Assange ? with the
Wikileaks founder's blessing

Matt Trueman
Thursday November 10 2011
guardian.co.uk

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2011/nov/09/julian-assange-the-opera

There has already been a play, a (disowned) autobiography
[http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/oct/02/julian-assange-unauthorised-autobiography-
review" title="], and some might argue that the real-life extradition  
drama is quite enough ?
but now work has begun on an opera based on the life of Julian Assange
[http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/julian-assange" title="]  in Melbourne.

Opera Australia held, with Assange's approval, a series of in-house  
workshops last
month, six months after its artistic director Lyndon Terracini came up  
with the idea and
asked composer Jonathan Dreyfus to write the music.

Terracini told the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC)
[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gefPHQkMtTo" title="]: "He is an  
incredible character and
it is an exciting idea."  He continued: "What they came up with was  
really terrific. What's
great is that it speaks to a younger audience."

Eddie Perfect, who played Assange in the initial process, told ABC  
News, "It's got everything
that a dramatic musical work needs. It's got heroes and villains. In  
fact, it's got a hero and
villain combined in one."



In 2008, Perfect played Australian cricketer Shane Warne
[http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/theatreblog/2008/oct/03/new.musicals.shane.warne 
" title="]
in another "biopicera". Comparing the two roles, Perfect told the  
Independent
[http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/classical/features/the-diary-julian-
assange-david-fincher-coen-brothers-polly-stenham-david- 
shrigley-6256573.html" title="]:
"Assange is a greater challenge because his personality is filtered  
through the media and we
rarely see the 'human' side. He's also more subdued ? Warney is all  
exterior and rarely self-
reflective. Assange is all interior."



The company has not yet committed to a full production, but if the  
opera goes ahead it will
be the second time the Wikileaks story has been presented on stage in  
Assange's native
Australia. Stainless Steel Rat by award-winning Australian playwright  
Ron Elisha
[http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/may/26/wikileaks-julian-assange-stage 
" title="]
played at the Seymour Centre in Sydney last June.



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