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Ron Siemiginowski - Composer & Producer

Ron was born and raised in regional WA and started music at the age of nine, studying piano and theory initially at the local convent, then adding percussion, guitar and piano accordion to his studies. Growing up, Ron played the organ at the church and was involved in the local theatre playing piano. A short stint playing keyboards in bands around Perth was followed by four years teaching music. He spent the next few years working in his family business (regional cinema). It was during his early twenties that Ron developed a fascination with jazz and by his mid twenties, Ron had decided to give music another go. He set off on what would be a two year period of travel throughout Europe, playing piano bars, jazz clubs and restaurants. “It was during my time in Barcelona, that the cruel reality dawned on me that playing piano for a living, would mean a life of poverty.... I thought it a better idea to return and continue back in the business.” The following years in the cinema business resulted in what is today the main regional WA cinema circuit (Orana Cinemas). All the while, Ron maintained regular piano practice and the occasional performance. “The classics Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart ....you know, all of the usual suspects, have always been my main source of inspiration. Jazz improvisation is great fun too. I’m a late convert to opera (last ten years), which is probably my main interest at the moment.”

 
 Photo credit: Lata S. Wright

Photo credit: Lata S. Wright

Giles Watson - Librettist

Giles Watson is a writer, teacher and historian with a long-standing interest in theatre, and in creative collaborations with artists and musicians. The latter include a series of books of poems written in cooperation with the British visual artists John Lincoln and Martin Williamson, and the photographer, Buffarches. He has written song lyrics in creative partnership with Albany singer Simone Keane, and published his own self-illustrated poetry and fiction. He is also a wildlife carer with a special interest in wild bird rehabilitation, and has written on art, landscape, wildlife and the folklore of natural history. After growing up in Canberra and Sydney, Giles spent several years in England, living in Durham, Oxfordshire and the Isles of Scilly, and Australian and British settings are a recurring feature of his creative work. Ever since he wrote and researched his doctoral thesis in cultural history, Giles has been interested in the impact of the Second World War on the lives of civilians. Mimma, his first libretto, is a result of that abiding fascination.

 
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Adam Mitchell - Director

Adam is an award winning theatre director known for his inventive contemporary theatre productions. He was the Associate and Resident Director for Black Swan State Theatre Company. Production highlights include; Clinton: The Musical, Next to Normal, Boy Gets Girl and When the Rain Stops Falling. He was the Artistic Director of Black Swan's HotBed Ensemble, production highlights include: Yellow Moon:The Ballad of Leila and Lee, The Shape of Things, pool (no water), The Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Laramie Project, Falling Petals and the world premieres of Portraits of Modern Evil by Robert Reid and The Dark Room by Angela Betzien. His Independent work includes the award winning Those Who Fall In Love Like Anchors Dropped Upon the Ocean Floor (Griffin Independent) and The Great Ridolphi for the Last Great Hunt that won the prestigious Martin Sims Award. It is touring internationally in 2018/19. He regularly directs Theatre, Opera and Music Theatre for The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), is the Artistic Director of The Performing Arts Perspectives and has worked with Sydney and Melbourne Theatre Companies, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Playwriting Australia, The Australian Theatre for Young People and is a member of the Lincoln Centre Theater Directors Lab (New York).

 
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Sean O'Boyle - Music Director / Conductor / Orchestrator

Awarded the Order of Australia (AM) in 2015 composer and conductor Sean has conducted performances from the Sydney Opera House to the Lincoln Centre in New York. In 2002, he was featured exclusively at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting where his compositions were performed for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He composed the ABC’s Olympic theme for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and also performed for the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games and the 2004 Athens Olympics. Sean is a multi-ARIA Award nominee for his work on more than 150 CDs in collaboration with the ABC, he has worked with many major recording artists including James Morrison, and Kate Ceberano. Has twice received the coveted ABC Golder Manuscript Award for his work as a composer his works including The Song Bird and Space Encountersfor Opera Queensland, Aladdin for the Queensland Ballet, original tunes for his jazz group Blackwood, the ABC’s television show Gardening Australia and also for its documentary series New Eden, the feature film A Heartbeat Away and most recently Portraits of Immortal Love, a percussion concerto for Dame Evelyn Glennie. His appointments include being Artist in Residence at the USA’s sixth oldest university, Moravian College and his current position as Professor of Music at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

 
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Bryan Woltjen - Set & Costume Designer

A graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Bryan has designed for a diverse range of theatre makers across Australia, India and the UK. In 2008 he undertook a series of residencies across India researching traditional puppetry and devising new works. He is the recipient of two W.A. Equity Guild Awards for Best Set Design. An associate of London's Dash Arts, he regularly collaborates on multinational projects that change the way we see the world. Based in London and Perth, but regularly commuting across the globe, he freelances internationally as a multi-disciplinary visual artist and theatre maker. Recent work includes the Dash Arts London ‘Dacha’ as a part of Dash’s Post-Soviet series and the set and costume design for Ochre (DARDARK) Contemporary Dance Company's Good Little Soldier.

 
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Trent Suidgeest - Lighting Designer

Trent Suidgeest’s astonishing lighting designs includes Global Creatures/Sydney Theatre Company’s Muriel's Wedding The Musical, Opera Australia’s Sydney Opera House – The Opera [The Eighth Wonder] and Carmen, which presented in both Sydney and Melbourne. Trent’s completed designs include Talk (Sydney Theatre Company), Calamity Jane (Hayes Theatre and national tour), Praying For The Time – A Tribute to George Michael with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Darlinghurst Nights (The Hayes Theatre Company). Trent lit the multi-Helpmann Award-winning opera The Rabbitts (Opera Australia) as well as Jasper Jones and Duck, Death and the Tulip for the Barking Gecko Theatre Company. For The Production Company in Melbourne Trent has created designs for Nice Work if You Can Get it, The King and I, Jesus Christ Superstar, Dusty and the recent The Boy from Oz. Trent has freshly completed the off-Broadway production of The View Upstairs and Gypsy for the Hayes Theatre Company, Kill Climate Deniers directed by Lee Lewis, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll for Black Swan Theatre Company in Perth and Accidental Death of an Anarchist for Sydney Theatre Company.

 
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Ben Collins - Sound Designer

Ben graduated from WAAPA in 2003 with a Bachelor of Music in Arranging and Composition.Ben has been part of the theatre industry as a Composer/ Sound Designer and has worked with the likes of Tim Winton, John Howard, John Waters, John Stanton, Heather Mitchell, Aaron Pedersen, Amanda Muggleton, Peter Farnan (Boom Crash Opera) Wendy Hughes amongst others. He has worked for Black Swan State Theatre Company since 2009, composed for dance and mixed media works including Buzz Dance Company’s Behind The Veneer and toured nationally and internationally with Black Swan/Belvoir B’s production of The Sapphires.Since 2012 Ben has been employed as a Resident Designer for Black Swan State Theatre Company.

 
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Christabel Ellis - Choreographer

Christabel has been involved in the entertainment industry in Perth and overseas for 30 years. She has performed in a number of corporate shows as both an experienced dancer and singer. She is a highly regarded teacher and choreographer. For the past five years she has been the Co-ordinator of Dance for the Music Theatre department at the renowned Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. She has choreographed a number of Music Theatre shows including Reefer Madness, Merrily We Roll Along, Children of Eden, Carrie, Rent, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Rock of Ages. Working alongside experienced directors such as: Andrew Lewis, Jason Langley, Adam Mitchell, Crispin Taylor, Shaun Rennie. Christabel has also choreographed Blood Wedding for the Acting Department which was directed by Ross McGregor.

 
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Michael Carmody - Moving Images

Michael is an Australian video artist based in Melbourne and Perth. As a video designer for performance he has worked on projects that include; Let the Right One In, You Know We Belong Together and Assassins (Black Swan State Theatre Company), Julia Morris’ Lift and Seperate national comedy tour (Live Nation), GONZO (St Martins / Malthouse Theatre), I Call My Brothers (Melbourne Theatre Company), The Waiting Room (Melbourne Theatre Company), I Saw The Second One Hit (St Martins / Malthouse Theatre), Detroit (Red Stitch), Hart (She Said Theatre / Blue Room), Fallen (She Said Theatre / Sport for Jove), Silver Rain: Illuminated Opera (White Night Melbourne 2016), Through Younger Eyes (Russell Goldsmith / Geelong After Dark 2017), Bare Witness (Nadja Kostich / Mari Lourey), Saving Henry (Melbourne Arts Centre / Angus Cerini) and Chapters From The Pandemic (Angus Cerini) for which he received a Green Room nomination. In 2017 he was dramaturg and video designer on the award winning St Martins production For The Ones Who Walk Away (Best Live Art - Melbourne Fringe 2017, Winner 2018 Green Room Award for Design in Contemporary and Experimental Performance).