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A white man with grey hair in a suit stands looking at a male dancer knelt on the floor. The dancer wears a harness and is dancing in water.


14 – 16 June 2024

A smash-hit, five-star new Australian oratorio. Physically thrilling and steeped in recent history.

The moment and the movement that changed Australia.

As his body hit the water, few heard the impact. But the ripple effect of the murderous act defied natural law and swelled to seismic scale.

It’s half a century since the infamous drowning of Dr George Ian Ogilvie Duncan; a moment in time that led South Australia to decriminalise homosexuality.

Watershed is a ravishing new operatic work by some of Australia’s most acclaimed creative talents: playwright Alana Valentine, author Christos Tsiolkas and composer Joseph Twist. Australian theatre and opera legend Neil Armfield’s production is as deeply felt as it is thrillingly physical.

See why Watershed was met with five-star reviews, a sold-out premiere season, and rapturous standing ovations at every performance.

Presented by Opera Australia and Sydney Opera House by arrangement with Adelaide Festival

Enabled by Sydney Opera House donor Professor Ross Steele AM and New Work Now donors.

Co-commissioned by Feast Festival, Adelaide Festival and State Opera South Australia, supported by Arts South Australia and by the Adelaide Festival’s Commissioning Circle, Sidney Myer Fund and Nunn Dimos Foundation.

A white man with grey hair in a suit stands looking at a male dancer knelt on the floor. The dancer wears a harness and is dancing in water.


Artist information

Composer & Orchestrator
Joseph Twist

Alana Valentine & Christos Tsiolkas

Brett Weymark

Neil Armfield

Set & Costume Designer
Alisa Paterson

Lighting Designer
Nigel Levings

Video Designer
Sean Bacon

Lewis Major

Mark Oates

Mick O’Shea/Cop/Lawyer
Pelham Andrews

Opera Australia Orchestra
Opera Australia Chorus

Other information

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