If there were one thing to celebrate on Saturday’s World Opera Day 2020, it would be the opportunities companies have in taking advantage of online platforms. When it appears so many opera companies worldwide are functioning (or not) on survival mode, others are responding in creative ways to circumvent varying imposed restrictions. One such small Victorian player, Gertrude Opera, has taken a giant leap in presenting their 10-day Yarra Valley Opera Festival entirely online and marking Saturday with an easily ensnaring and multifaceted work.

Kate Kelly was co-created by author Merrill Findlay and composer Ross James Carey, and illustrates the story of Kate Kelly, second youngest sister of Australia’s infamous bushranger icon, Ned Kelly.

Emily Burke as Kate Kelly

Born in 1863 in Beveridge Victoria into a large Irish Catholic family and baptised Catherine Ada Kelly, Kate’s enigmatic story exemplifies a woman’s struggle against a lack of liberty, respect, choice and, worse, consequential and commonplace, unpunishable domestic abuse. She had gained notoriety as a horseback performer soon after Ned was hanged at Melbourne Gaol in 1880. For unknown reasons, she escaped the limelight and eventually resurfaced...

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