Magazine article Opera Canada

Lindy. (International: Australia; Opera in Review)

Magazine article Opera Canada

Lindy. (International: Australia; Opera in Review)

Article excerpt

SYDNEY

Opera Australia presented a world premiere as the last offering of its 2002 season at the Sydney Opera House. Entitled Lindy, Moya Henderson's musically interesting, and often eloquent and moving, work tells the true story of Lindy Chamberlain, a mother jailed for the murder of a 10-week-old baby daughter who had in fact been killed by a dingo.

The incident occurred at Uluru, formerly known as Ayer's Rock, on August 17, 1980, and was intermittent front-page news for years afterwards. Chamberlain protested her innocence, but was jailed for years before the jacket her daughter, Azaria, had worn when put to bed on the fateful night-which was vital to the defence case--was found, leading to a second trial and her acquitted. Other evidence was ignored at her first trial, in particular that of local Aborigines who were well aware of the dingo's habits and instincts.

Even today, there are some who suspect Lindy Chamberlain was really a murdereress, but Henderson's opera adopts a consistently pro-Lindy stance. Its core concern is the plight of the woman whose life is all but destroyed by public vilification for a crime that never took place.

The most serious problem with Lindy is the unstageability of the critical event in the scenario: the carrying off of an infant from a tent while her parents are socialising near by. …

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