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Work of the Week – Mary Finsterer: Antarctica

Work of the Week – Mary Finsterer: Antarctica

The eternal ice is no more: The climate crisis leaves its marks even at the coldest and southernmost spots on earth. In their new opera Antarctica, Australian composer Mary Finsterer and her librettist Tom Wright paint a picture of a changing continent. The new piece will be premiered on 5 June 2022 at Holland Festival with Asko|Schoenberg Ensemble, conducted by Jack Symonds. Director Imara Savage and her team are responsible for the scenic realization at Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw aan ’t  IJ. 


A continent like an open book: Antarctica by Mary Finsterer

A group of explorers is struggling through the Antarctic and come across a girl who was cut off in the ice in the 19th century and now retells her experiences. The Australian composer Mary Finsterer and the dramatist Tom Wright have set their tale of exploration on the continent which was long known as the perennial ice sheet. The Antarctic has preserved the geological history of the earth like a book and can now tell its own story:

In a time when anthropogenic climate change is destabilising all centres (political, cultural, scientific), Antarctica becomes a stage for a drama of the future. Mary Finsterer

Antarctica is the first work within the collaboration of Mary Finsterer and Schott Music. A second performance is taking place on 6 June at Holland Festival and the Australian premiere is scheduled for 2023 at Sydney. 


photos: Dear Golja (Finsterer) / Patrick Poendl (background)