This 2-part special event series offers an incisive look at the political and creative challenges behind the making of Luke Styles’ latest work No Friend but the Mountains: A Symphonic Song Cycle, inspired by Behrouz Boochani's awarding winning book.
The series also chronicles the story behind how Australia’s oldest community symphony orchestra, Zelman Memorial Symphony, came to perform the world premiere of the work at Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl amidst the ongoing threats of Covid-19 shutdowns.
Through exclusive behind-the-scenes access, the series showcases the challenging rehearsal process and captures all the drama and anticipation as the clock counts down to showtime.
Episode 1 provides the background and political, cultural and artistic context within which Luke Styles composed his highly anticipated work No Friend but the Mountains: A Symphonic Song Cycle. A tribute to Australia’s convict and refugee heritage, the work was inspired by internationally acclaimed author, journalist and refugee advocate Behrouz Boochani’s personal account of incarceration under Australia's Offshore Detention Program “No Friend but the Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison”. The libretto of the musical work is made up of words from Behrouz Boochani's book translated by Omid Tofighian.
Episode two takes viewers deeper into the personal stories and points of connection that Zelman musicians and Chairman Dr George Deutsch OAM, conductor Rick Prakhoff, Bass-Baritone Adrian Tamburini and special guest performer and former Manus Island detainee Farhad Bandesh have with Behrouz’s story of escape, survival and his ongoing struggle to secure recognition for the voiceless refugees still left in limbo around the world. This episode also presents the full production recording of Luke Styles’ No Friend but the Mountains: A Symphonic Song Cycle, filmed live at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on 21 March 2021.
Featuring insightful interviews with Boochani, Tofighian, Styles and many other luminaries from Australia’s arts and classical music world, viewers will be taken behind the scenes in the making of this incredible new work.
To stream both episodes again, click here.