Ruth Strutt debuts in new Australian opera, Whiteley

Julie Lea Goodwin as Wendy Whiteley, Leigh Melrose as Brett Whiteley, Ruth Strutt as Biennale Judge, and Alexander Hargreaves as Robert Hughes..

Ruth makes a cameo appearance as the Biennale Judge in Opera Australia's newest Australian commission, Whiteley. With a libretto written by Justin Fleming and score composed by Elena Kats-Chernin, Whiteley is as Australian opera masterpiece.

It’s quite startling to watch an opera unfold on stage that is so unashamedly, so unapologetically, so gloriously Australian.

The opera spans the life of the iconic Australian painter through the 1950s to 1990s, and received glowing reviews from publications across the world. Ruth was heavily involved the workshop creation of this piece, and holds it particularly close to her heart.

The New York Times says, "sung in English, and with a musical style that ranges from the lyrical to the dissonant, “Whiteley” is a risky venture for Opera Australia, the country’s main producer of music theater. The company is expanding beyond the classic opera repertoire to avant-garde productions that are uniquely Australian, and, organizers hope, exciting enough to draw in a younger audience."

The Daily Telegraph says "the production at moments veers dangerously close to the folksy abyss, it always wrests itself back in time. That’s mostly to do with some fine performances, some really interesting and unconventional music, and some absolutely magnificent staging."

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