Gadigal Land

Thu 26 September—Sat 5 October 2024

Presented by Opera Australia, Sydney Chamber Opera and Carriageworks in association with Australian String Quartet and Ensemble Offspring


Tickets from $79*

To book this concert over the phone call Opera Australia on 02 9318 8200

Please note that all tickets are booked through Opera Australia and include a booking fee of $9.80. You will be redirected to the Opera Australia website upon clicking ‘book now’.

The ancient and contemporary collide in this world premiere opera based on the world’s oldest poem and featuring opera’s most cutting-edge artists.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is humanity’s oldest epic written poem. Emerging from ancient Mesopotamian mythology, it tells of a restless young king who, through experiences of love and loss, becomes a better person. His unexpected love for a half-man, half-animal leads him wide-eyed into mysterious realms.

Gilgamesh’s story sings to us across millennia, and this brand-new opera uncovers all that remains strikingly relevant: its approach to mortality, sexuality and our relationship with nature. This is the first opera in English based upon this foundational part of civilisation.

Composed by Sydney Chamber Opera Artistic Director Jack Symonds and brought to Carriageworks’ vast performance space by visionary director Kip Williams (Sydney Theatre Company’s The Picture of Dorian Gray), Gilgamesh is an epic that must be experienced.

Singing scorpions share the stage with a Bull of Heaven and oracles interpreting the flood which swept the Earth.

This is Opera Australia’s first collaboration with Sydney Chamber Opera, a company renowned for presenting “an astonishing new vision of what contemporary opera can achieve” (Time Out). Two outstanding chamber music ensembles bring a collective virtuosity to this colourful new score: Australian String Quartet and Ensemble Offspring.

Symonds conducts a cast of Australian contemporary opera specialists. Jeremy Kleeman and Mitchell Riley play Gilgamesh and the beast Enkidu, joined by Jane Sheldon, Jessica O’Donoghue and Daniel Szesiong Todd.


Thu 26 Sep 2024, 7.30pm
Sat 28 Sep 2024, 3pm
Mon 30 Sep, 7.30pm
Wed 2 Oct, 7.30pm
Fri 4 Oct, 7.30pm
Sat 5 Oct, 7.30pm


Jack Symonds | Composer
Louis Garrick | Libretto
Jack Symonds | Conductor
Kip Williams | Director
Elizabeth Gadsby | Set and Costume Designer
Amelia Lever-Davidson | Lighting Designer
Benjamin Carey | Electronics & Sound Designer


Jeremy Kleeman | Gilgamesh
Mitchell Riley | Enkidu
Jane Sheldon | Ishtar/Scorpion
Jessica O’Donoghue | Shamhat/Uta-Napishti/Scorpion
Daniel Szesiong Todd | Humbaba/Ur-Shanabi
Australian String Quartet
Ensemble Offspring

Duration approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one interval. Performed in English with surtitles.


All Impermanence performances will comply with individual venue COVID-19 safety protocols that are in place at the time of performance.