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"A mysterious, utterly mesmerising masterpiece." AUDREY JOURNAL

In the weeks following September 11, five young women presented separately to hospitals in New York with identical symptoms. They were unable to swallow and believed that debris from the destruction had lodged in their throats. The surgeon who examined them found no obstruction. This haunting image became the seed for The Howling Girls.

Created by director Adena Jacobs, composer Damien Ricketson and soprano Jane Sheldon, The Howling Girls explores the medium and metaphor of the voice. Featuring a solitary soprano and a throbbing chorus of young voices, together with an immersive orchestration of theremin, keyboards and electroacoustic music, the score is a kind of proto-language, an attempt to communicate in a mode beyond the rational: a sensory spectacle to bypass the brain and work directly on the body.


composer: Damien Ricketson

director: Adena Jacobs

musical director: Jack Symonds

set & costume design: Eugyeene Teh

lighting design: Jenny Hector

sound design: Bob Scott

associate artist: Danielle Maas

stage manager: Cecilia Nelson

assistant stage manager: Millie Simes

design assistant: Tyler Hawkins

performed by Jane Sheldon with an ensemble of performers from The House That Dan Built - Grace Campbell,Kittu Hoyne, Kiri Jenssen, Emily Pincock, Jayden Selvakumaraswamy and Sylvie Woodhouse

produced by Sydney Chamber Opera

"To put it simply: to take a breath is complex. To be outside power and yet still speak is phenomenal...Jacobs creates flashes of brilliance in a space beyond the conventional, the written, and the expected." CASSIE TONGUE - WITNESS PERFORMANCE

"This is the pinnacle of their (Sydney Chamber Opera) daring provocations and an essential work for anybody wanting to experience the cutting edge of the operatic art form." BEN NEUTZE - TIME OUT

"Sheldon's performance was a remarkable tour-de-force – a 60-minute exploration of boundaries of vocal possibilities, maintained with remarkable tonal control." PETER MCCALLUM - SYDNEY MORNING HERALD


★★★★ Time Out

★★★★ Sydney Morning Herald S

★★★★ Limelight

★★★★ Audrey Journal

Winner of the international Music Theatre NOW award

Tokyo Festival World Competition - Award for Outstanding Talent (Bob Scott - Sound Design)

APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards - Best Vocal/Choral Work

FBI Smac Award Nomination







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