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Kosky's new epic
Call her Ishmael
Opera director Barrie Kosky is living and working in an arts nirvana that shields its talent. The Melbourne-born son of a Richmond furrier has just closed one of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s great musical earworms and social critiques on stage in Germany’s capital city to almost immediately begin another.

And Australia is about to benefit from Europe’s effort to support the arts through the pandemic: Kosky’s striking production of the satirical operatic fairytale The Golden Cockerel, which premiered earlier this year in France, is on its way here in 2022.


Earth is near dead, so exploited it barely sustains humanity. Wealthy individuals live in the last habitable places, running large corporations that head off-world to find new resources, repeating the pillage across the solar system.

A young woman, born in an impoverished land, is invited onto an intergalactic spaceship to make her fortune. To paraphrase the opening line of the classic novel Moby Dick: call her Ishmael.


Steve's essays Bent Man Running published in Growing Up Queer in Australia and Stream drama in Meanjin autumn 2020.
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