Arts Centre Melbourne and Sydney Chamber Opera in association with Melbourne Festival present

Fly Away Peter


A work of dramatic and musical integrity. ★★★★

Daily Review (Crikey)

A force to be reckoned with.

The Australian

An unqualified triumph.


Music Elliott Gyger

Libretto Pierce Wilcox

Conductor Jack Symonds

Director Imara Savage

Based on David Malouf’s classic novel Fly Away Peter, this new contemporary opera tells the story of Jim Saddler, a visionary young birdwatcher from Queensland thrust into the nightmare of the Western Front during WWI.

Through Jim’s voice of delicate insight, this one act chamber opera travels from a land of life to a panorama of horror.

In honour of the Gallipoli centenary, this profound new contribution to Australian opera tells a story of the Australian spirit that begins at peace, builds to tragedy, and ends in transcendence.


Set and Costume Design Elizabeth Gadsby
Lighting Design Verity Hampson
Jim Saddler Mitchell Riley
Ashley Crowther/Soldiers Brenton Spiteri
Imogen Harcourt Jessica Aszodi

Production Manager Leonard Samperi
Stage Manager Lija Simpson
Movement Director Lucas Jervies