Current Issue #488

Australian Chamber Orchestra to bring Bill Henson collaboration to Adelaide

Australian Chamber Orchestra to bring Bill Henson collaboration to Adelaide

In 2005 the Australian Chamber Orchestra matched the work of celebrated photographer Bill Henson with music from R.E.M. and Benjamin Britten. A decade since its last performance, Luminous will make its Adelaide premiere.

Led by Australian Chamber Orchestra artistic director Richard Tognetti on violin, Luminous combines Henson’s distinctive visual style with a contemplative selection of music including Britten’s Corpus Christi Carol and I’ve Been High by R.E.M.

“Luminous sees us collaborate with one of the world’s great artists, Bill Henson, who’s taken the art of photography to new levels and new dimensions,” Tognetti says. “We first presented this concert in 2005, in what marked one of our first collaborations with a visual artist, and were amazed at the support that we, and Bill, received throughout the project.”

Richard Tognetti and Bill Henson (Photo: Nic Walker)
Richard Tognetti and Bill Henson (Photo: Nic Walker)

Luminous was last mounted in the wake of controversy surrounding Henson’s work in 2008, in an episode that by today’s standard of moral panics and culture wars seems almost quaint. For this new iteration of Luminous, Henson has created additional updated visuals to complement the material from the original. The revival will also see acclaimed Israeli Australian folk singer Lior take to the microphone in a role that previous performances has seen filled by Paul Capsis and Katie Noonan.

“In collaborating with Richard Tognetti and the ACO on Luminous, I was aiming to create exactly what I’ve always wanted from any work of art: a gathering sense of intimacy which, through compelling articulation, overtakes our sense of what we thought we knew and makes the world strange again – that unexpected encounter with beauty which causes us to fall in love and which is the true purpose of art,” Henson says.

Luminous will touring the country throughout August, with Adelaide Town Hall hosting a single performance of Luminous on Tuesday, August 13.

Australian Chamber Orchestra

Llewellyn Hall
Saturday, August 10

Hamer Hall
Sunday, August 11
Monday, August 12

Adelaide Town Hall
Tuesday, August 13

Perth Concert Hall
Wednesday, August 14

City Recital Hall
August 17 – 23

Sydney Opera House
Sunday, August 18

QPAC Concert Hall
Monday, August 19

Header image:
Untitled 2003-04, Bill Henson (Photo: Courtesy the artist, Tolarno Galleries and Roslyn-Oxley Gallery)

Get the latest from The Adelaide Review in your inbox

Get the latest from The Adelaide Review in your inbox