A brand new chamber opera by Australian composer Damien Ricketson is among the highlights of Carriageworks’ 2018 programme. The new work, titled The Howling Girls, will be premiered by Carriageworks Resident Company Sydney Chamber Opera at the end of March as part of a season chock-full of bold experimental works from Australia and overseas.

“We are excited to be bringing an extraordinary Program of international works, new commissions and large scale works to Sydney,” said Carriageworks Director Lisa Havilah. “In 2018 we will continue to increase our investment into our Artistic Program and our support of Australian and international artists. We look forward to welcoming our growing audiences to experience our most ambitious Program to date.”

A collaboration between former Ensemble Offspring Artistic Director Ricketson, director Adena Jacobs and soprano Jane Sheldon, The Howling Girls is based on a real-life phenomenon that followed the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York. The work explores the visceral story of five young women who turn up separately at hospitals in New York with identical symptoms – unable to swallow, they believe debris from the attacks has lodged in their throats, but the surgeon who examines them finds nothing.

The work, which will be conducted by SCO Artistic Director Jack Symonds, has been billed as a “a new chamber opera dissecting the medium and metaphor of the voice, its loss and attempted reconstitution. A solo voice constricted, wheezing, stammering, in decay, a teenage chorus of howling girls, an absent mass, an unearthly theremin, a spectacle of fragmented bodies and voices. A sublime aural and perceptual encounter.”

SCO will return later in the year, in August, to present Resonant Bodies, an international festival of new vocal music. First held in New York in 2013, Resonant Bodies has since come to Melbourne (earlier this year) and in Sydney will feature Swedish-Ethiopian composer-improviser Sofia Jernberg, Indonesian experimental vocalist Rully Shabara and New York soprano Ariadne Grief, who will join Australian baritone Mitchell Riley (who starred in SCO’s O Mensch! in 2015 as part of the Sydney Festival) and sopranos Deborah Kayser and Sonya Holowell.

SCO will also partner with Australian composer Liza Lim on a new project as part of Carriageworks’ commitment to developing new work.

Sydney-based new music group Ensemble Offspring is also in the line-up for 2018, presenting Lone Hemispheres, a programme of interdisciplinary music – spanning chamber music to free improvisation – in December.

But it’s not all music. Carriageworks’ 2017 will also feature a large-scale site-specific installation by German artist Katharina Grosse, a new work titled The Horse Trotted Another Couple of Metres, Then it Stopped as well as a new work by Japanese contemporary artist Ryoji Ikeda, who will be presenting his third major installation at Carriagework, micro macro, while Nick Cave will present the largest scale project Carriageworks has ever presented. Until will be comprised of thousands of found objects and millions of beads, imitating the inside of Cave’s iconic sound-suits. The work will also include a public performance programme across its run from November 2018 to March 2019.

The Sydney Biennale will return to Carriageworks for the fourth time, with a programme curated by Mami Kataoka, while in dance, Carriageworks will present the the biennial Keir Choreographic Award in March, as well as the fifth iteration of Sydney Dance Company’s New Breed in November. The 2018 programme will also feature a multi-lingual, trans Indigenous dance theatre work directed by Serge Aimé Coulibaly for Marrugeku, Le Dernier Appel (The Last Call), a co-commission by Carriageworks and Centre Cultural Tjibaou in Nouméa, New Caledonia, exploring recuperation in the aftermath of colonisation.

The 2018 programme will also feature forums, talks and masterclasses, events celebrating the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’ 40th anniversary and much more.

The Full Programme