Company: Sydney Chamber Opera
Venue: Arts House Melbourne, as part of RISING Festival

Year the project commenced: 2015 
Year it became impossible: 2020 
Audience not reached:​​​​​ 1200​​
THE HOWLING GIRLS was to be part of the inaugural RISING Festival in Melbourne in 2020. That is until the entire festival was Covid-cancelled. It would have been the third presentation of this sensory spectacle which was premiered at Carriageworks in 2018 by Sydney Chamber Opera and returned for Tokyo Festival in 2019. Just prior to the Tokyo presentation, typhoon Hagibis had caused mass evacuation and a shut down of the city, but unlike the repercussions of Covid, the city and festival got back up on their feet. And the song continued.
The Howling Girls is a 60-minute wordless opera which bypasses the rationale to work directly on the body and explores the medium and metaphor of the voice. The work was inspired by this anecdote in Susan Faludi's The Terror Dream - ‘In the weeks following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre...five gaunt teenage girls arrived separately at a Manhattan hospital complaining of identical symptoms. They were wasting away because they couldn’t ‘swallow.’.. All five believed that some debris or body part from the destruction of the towers had lodged in their throats. The surgeon who examined the girls discovered that their throats were, indeed, constricted. But he could find no obstruction, no debris, and no body parts.’
Hopefully not. Hopefully there is still chance to show the work in Melbourne and internationally. Possibly just at much later dates.
Created by Adena Jacobs (Director) 
& Damien Ricketson (Composer) 

Conductor - Jack Symonds 
Set & costume design - Eugyeene Teh 
Lighting Design - Jenny Hector 
Sound Design - Bob Scott 

Performed by Jane Sheldon 
& performers from 
The House That Dan Built 
(Artistic Director - 
Danielle O’Keefe) 
Grace Campbell, 
Kittu Hoyne, 
Kiri Jenssen, 
Emily Pincock,
 Jayden Selvakumaraswamy, 
and Sylvie Woodhouse
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