8:30pm – Wednesday, March 17 on ABC2
ABC TV, Opera Australia and The Australia Council for the Arts present Bliss, a new Australian opera and adaptation of Peter Carey’s award-winning landmark first novel. A live (AEDT) performance of this bold production will be screened live from the Sydney Opera House.
Neil Armfield directs the dangerous tale of Harry Joy’s (Peter Coleman-Wright) near death experience and subsequent return to life to find his world has been transformed into a Kafkaesque nightmare.
Once a flourishing and carefree advertising executive, Harry’s twisted reality resembles a hellish underworld where the excesses of the 80s meet sex, drugs and social dysfunction. He discovers that his son (tenor David Corcoran) is peddling drugs for sexual favours with his sister (soprano Taryn Fiebig), his wife (soprano Merlyn Quaife) is indulging in a lusty affair with Harry’s business partner (tenor Kanen Breen) and the advertising agency he once proudly led has resorted to flogging cancer-causing products.
Harry’s only respite comes in the form of a prostitute, Honey B, (Lorina Gore) who he falls madly, deeply in love with… But can love conquer his tormented hell.
Jennifer Byrne and Chris Taylor host ABC2 Live Presents Bliss and take us backstage during interval to capture exclusive interviews with principal artists and crew.
This highly anticipated opera event is by composer Brett Dean and award-winning librettist Amanda Holden. Dean’s music is by turns fascinating, atmospheric and beautiful. Elgar Howarth conducts Bliss.
AB2 Live Presents Bliss is also being beamed live to cinemas around Australia. The broadcast concludes the ABC’s Bliss-a-thon, which explored the book, the movie and which went behind the scenes of the opera to film Artscape: Making Opera Bliss. To see exclusive footage from this documentary visit the Arts Gateway at www.abc.net.au/arts http://abc.net.au/iview/