After many years of research dedicated to Australian female composers, Sydney Conservatorium of Music Associate Professor Jeanell Carrigan has revived Dutch-Australian composer Meta Overman’s Psyche, with a performance scheduled for August. Through concert performances, CD recordings and archived editions, the pianist has single-handedly revived the work of the Dutch-Australian composer, and has now orchestrated a new edition of her legendary 1955 opera.
Born in Rotterdam in 1907, Overman survived two world wars and the German occupation of the Netherlands. “The resilience developed during this time is reflected in her music which is described by critics as innovative, individual, sometimes humorous, and powered by strong visual imagery,” the Sydney Conservatorium of Music said in a press release. Overman moved to Australia in 1951, living in Melbourne and then Perth, where she continued to write music for orchestra, choral and chamber works, operas and ballets. Psychepremiered at the Perth Festival in 1955, where it received 10 performances, and has not been revisited since. The opera only exists in a piano score, and this will be the world premiere of Carrigan’s newly orchestrated version.
The opera is in three acts based on the...