Lindy at Opera Australia
Somewhere around 1989 Lindy got a phone call to her agent’s from an individual wanting to know if Lindy would be agreeable to an world class opera being written about her case. For five or so years after being released from prison she often got requests from people wanting her blessing or participation in one project or another related to the case. By this time, the film Evil Angels / A Cry in the Dark had already been done, and artists were looking for other ways to portray the events that had so captivated the nation. Lindy told them all she was not opposed, as all of the information was public domain. Her plea was always only, “Make sure it is accurate. There has been too much sloppiness with the truth in my case.”
Over the years we would her snippets of information that let us know the project was still in the works. In 1995, small segments of the work in progress were presented at the Canberra Arts Festival, in conjunction with an exhibit on the case by the National Museum of Australia.
We did not hear anything more until suddenly in early 2002 we got another phone call, “What do you think of the opera Lindy which is to be present in the Sydney Opera House in October?” It was news to us, and we quickly contacted the Opera. We found the Artistic Director for Lindy, Stuart Maunder, to be incredibly helpful. He invited us to visit the opera house and attend some operas, which we did.
Stuart showed us the details proposed for Lindy and asked if we had any concerns. There were some minor ones, which had Lindy’s character saying (singing) things that did not reflect correctly actual events. Seemingly unflappable, Stuart quickly found ways to portray the events and words more accurately.
It was an incredibly difficult opera to stage, but he did a superb job of it. Joanna Cole, in the role of Lindy, did enormous credit to the wide musical range.
It was a very positive experience, due in particular to the passion for the story exhibited by all who brought the opera to stage. A special privilege was extended to us to invite friends to the final dress rehearsal before the media presentation. We were able to have 80 eyewitnesses, Chamberlain Innocence Committee support group leaders, other particularly supportive friends, even one of the jurors, attend. Onstage we saw a full presentation of the story of a strong, deeply loving, fiercely protective woman who had done battle with mighty forces arrayed against her, and emerged triumphant.
Cover of the opera Lindy CD set issued by the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company). Libretto by Judith Rodriguez, and Moya Henderson. The image is one by Neville Dawson, though the cover designer somehow got the image reversed.
I hope to have 1-2 minute segments of the music available to listen at this page, as soon as permissions are secured from all parties concerned.
A critic’s review of the opera Lindy (pdf, 18kb)
Opera Lindy original website (pdf, 121kb)