Aria showcased 8 puppetry performances and live Opera. I created a puppetry performance to my favourite Aria from the Opera La Wally by Catalini that featured in the 80s cult movie Diva. Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez sang on the original soundtrack the haunting aria ”Ebben? Ne andrò lontana”. The piece is a reverie on leaving home and travelling far away.photo by Stephen Mushin

I made an elderly woman puppet and two versions of her pet pteranodon especially for the show. Like many of us, all her love is poured into an animal or object as human relationships can be challenging. The elderly woman wheeled a miniature shopping trolley through the audience collecting food for her beloved pet.

The baby pteranodon grows and up and spreads her wings. I became the elderly woman puppet wearing a mask that echoed her face. Soprano Belinda Dalton accompanied by Dave Evans on grand piano sang the piece. As the music and her voice crescendoed, the pteranodon flew and I sailed a full sized shopping trolley with a sail made of plastic shopping bags like Boadicea, the Celtic warrior queen riding her chariot. It was a triumphant moment!

The performances were curated by Black Hole Theatre and supported by Darebin Arts Speak Easy program. Darebin council funds local artists through this program to utilise the venues at Northcote Town Hall and produce innovative work. Black Hole Theatre has curated a number of Puppet Slams around Victoria to encourage puppeteers to experiment with new work and allow our puppetry industry to flourish. Photography by Stephen Mushin.

 

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