While some organisations have struggled in 2020, others have risen to the challenge and thought outside of the box. Sydney-based Pinchgut Opera has always exhibited a healthy enthusiasm for rediscovery and reinvention, so the fact that they have produced a film may come as no surprise, but the innovation doesn’t stop there. Recorded over two weeks in an inner-city Sydney warehouse, A Delicate Fire – the title quotes Sappho – is the brainchild of Pinchgut AD Erin Helyard, Opera Australia director Constantine Costi and designer Charlotte Mungomery. A smart, sophisticated exploration of love and life, it’s set to the seldom-heard music of a pioneering woman of the Baroque and is guaranteed to leave you wanting more. With arresting visuals and Pinchgut’s stellar musical standards, what’s not to like?

Taryn Fiebig and Anna Dowsley in A Delicate Fire. All photos supplied

First the music. Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677) was born in Venice, most likely the illegitimate daughter of Giulio Strozzi, an influential poet whose words his daughter would choose regularly to set to music. Giulio would...

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