Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise
(That last infirmity of noble mind)
To scorn delights, and live laborious days;
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Comes the blind Fury with th'abhorréd shears,
And slits the thin-spun life.
John Milton: Lycidas (1637)
Lawrence Hargrave: Sam Roberts-Smith
Margret Hargrave: Caroline Vercoe
Olive Hargrave: Lisette Bolton
Meg Hargrave : Shakira Dugan
Young Hargrave: Cameron Sibly
Luigi D'Albertis: Cameron Taylor
Director: Lara Kerestes
Conductor: Pat Miller
Set Design & Construction: Tom Petty
Lighting Design: Richard Vabre
Costume Design: Nathan Burmeister
Stage Manager: Will Barker
Executive Producer: Suzanne Chaundy
Original Design Concept: Zunica
Flute, Alto Flute & Piccolo: Kim Tan
Clarinet & Bass Clarinet: Cameron Smith
Piano, Celesta & Harpsichord: Jane Matheson*
Harp: Sam Ramirez
Percussion: Lara Wilson
Keyboard 1: Louis Nicoll*
Keyboard 2: James Dekleva
Violin: Felicité Heine
Double Bass: Rob Nicholls
PREMIERE PRODUCTION (1984)
Composer: Barry Conyngham
Librettist: Murray Copland
Commissioned by: Victorian State Opera
Premiered: August 25th, State Theatre Melbourne
Director: Murray Copland
Conductor: John Hopkins
Designer: Shaun Gurton
Stage Manager: Ann Reid
See the full 1984 Program here
DATES AND TIMES
Sun Aug 25 - 5:00pm - SOLD OUT
Tue Aug 27 - 7:30pm
Thu Aug 29 - 7:30pm
Sat Aug 31 - 7:30pm
Sun Sep 1 - 5:00pm
Hargrave flying his box kites on the beach.
Sydney, Australia. 1904.
At their home in Woollahra, Meg and her mother Margret eagerly examine the latest newspapers from London while Olive watches their brother Geoffrey sailing on the Harbour. Margret recalls the trials and tribulations of her husband's career as Meg discovers the news of man's first successful flight.
Hargrave, recovering from fever, emerges to celebrate the successful end to Geoffrey's race only to be confronted by his wife with the news from London.
The doorbell announces the delivery of Mrs Hargrave's new hat. Its featured Bird of Paradise feathers cause Hargrave to recall his expedition to New Guinea some 30 years previously. The fun and games soon devolve into a fierce confrontation between husband and wife.
On the beach in Sydney, Olive and Meg Hargrave watch their father, Lawrence Hargrave fly one of his experimental kites.
Lawrence and Margret Hargrave.
Act 2, Scene 1:
Fly River, New Guinea. 1876.
30 years earlier Hargrave is on board the steamer Neva as part of the Italian aristocrat Luigi D'Albertis' expedition up the Fly River in New Guinea.
D'Albertis, who is recovering from fever, questions Hargrave about his drawings and designs, before asserting his authority as leader of the expedition.
Hargrave berates D'Albertis' for his destructive methods of exploration before the Italian in turn humiliates Hargrave for his humanitarian views.
Hargrave vows to renounce all personal fame or fortune.
Luigi D'Albertis and his 1876 expedition.
Act 2, Scene 2.
Sydney, Australia. 1915.
News has just reached Woollahra of the landings at Gallipoli. Mrs Hargrave explains to Meg that her father is now regarded as a traitor because the only museum willing to utilise his lifetime of aeronautical research was German.
She shares her concern for her husband's failing health but also the comfort brought by the assistance of Geoffrey, now himself a promising engineer.
The doorbell announces the arrival of a clergyman bringing news from Gallipoli.
Hargrave returns to his workshop.
Geoffrey Hargrave, 1915.
Duration: 80 minutes, without interval.
Thank you to our major supporters:
Hans and Petra Henkell
Robert Saltzer Foundation
Thank you to all those who supported this production of FLY through our Australian Cultural Fund Campaign:
Colin and Elizabeth Gomm
Thank you to all those who supported the Fly Development program through the Australian Cultural Fund:
Matthew and Joanne Angus
Our personal and sincere thanks to all those whose assistance made this production possible.
Delia Spicer, Tia Clarke, Malthouse Theatre
Barry and Deborah Conyngham
Shane Grant and the team at St Martin's Youth Theatre
Mary-Lou, Andy , Katy and all the team at fortyfivedownstairs