OPERA SHOTS! Sarah Mann & Ella Luhtasaari

14 May 2021

Sarah Mann, soprano, sings opera with pianist Ella Luhtasaari in three special micro-concerts out the front of Badger & Co.

Over fifteen minutes Sarah and Ella present snippets of mainstream opera that adhere to conventions and techniques of the genre refined over more than four hundred years. The melodies, by Mozart and Puccini among others, were written prior to sound recording technology, for huge theatrical productions designed for the European stage. Orchestral accompaniment, makeup, sets and costumes completed the experience for keen concertgoers. Watch Sarah and Ella breathe sweet autumn Kambri air into these same tunes, lifted from their roots – literally resuscitated – on land taken from Ngunnawal people. Thousands of miles and hundreds of years from their origins, these songs travelled a long journey as black dots and lines on a page. How do they fit here and now, and why has this artform persisted through time and space? Ponder the relevance and universality of operatic singing on a sunny afternoon…

Over three Friday afternoons in May, this series is part of a recruitment strategy for a multi-disciplinary research project at the School of Music and JCSMR exploring the impact of operatic sound on the minds and bodies of listeners. Take part in the survey and, for a cafĂ© voucher, sign up for participation in interviews and neurophysiological experiments later in the year by contacting [email protected].

…Or just sit back and enjoy some unamplified voice and piano by the creek in the sun!

Sarah is a professional soprano and PhD candidate at the School of Music; Ella is on ANU staff – a highly accomplished and sought-after pianist specialising in vocal accompaniment.


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