Opera Queensland’s Straight from the Strait pays tribute to the Torres Strait Islands

Opera Queensland’s Straight from the Strait pays tribute to the Torres Strait Islands

Opera Queensland continues to push boundaries and expand horizons with its new shows and dynamic takes on the rich tradition of opera. Premiering as part of Brisbane Festival, from August 28–31, Straight from the Strait is a groundbreaking new musical that celebrates the resilience and cultural richness of Torres Strait Island communities.

Presented by Opera Queensland, Yumpla Nerkep Foundation and Queensland Performing Arts Centre, in collaboration with Brisbane Festival, Straight from the Strait pays tribute to the indomitable spirit of Torres Strait Islanders who left their homes to work on the Mount Newman railway. On May 8 1968, a group of these workers laid down 7 km of track in a single day, shattering a world record that stands unchallenged to this day. This feat forms the heart of the musical.

Developed in consultation with Torres Strait Island artists, Elders and communities, the production – led by a team of First Nations creatives, performers, musicians and cultural advisors – harmoniously blends traditional Torres Strait music and contemporary melodies, performed in the vibrant ancestral languages of Meriam Mir, Kala Lagaw Ya, and Torres Strait Creole, as well as English. 

Ruth Ghee, a Meriam Mer woman, daughter of a Railway Man and cultural adviser on the musical, was drawn to the idea of turning this story into a musical. “This story is of personal importance to my family and many others from the Torres Strait, revealing a significant moment in history that all Australians can be proud of.”

Straight from the Strait redefines the possibilities of opera, with its remarkable story weaving together history and culture, and reverberating with the universal power of music and its ability to unite hearts and strengthen souls.

Experience an unforgettable evening with Straight from the Strait at QPAC from August 28–31. Book your tickets at the Opera Queensland website

To find out more about what’s on in Brisbane, head to our Event Guide.

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