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Andrée Greenwell : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Laquiem : tales from the Mourning of the Lac Women by Andrée Greenwell, from the CD Laquiem

Photo of Andrée Greenwell

Multi-award-winning composer Andrée Greenwell has created over 100 scores for chamber opera, concert, theatre, film, television, installation and radio. She is one of Australia's leading music theatre creators, described by Keith Gallasch (in Realtime 53) as occupying 'a special place in the musical culture of Australia. Her distinctive compositions sit uniquely at the nexus of folk, opera, pop, jazz and avant garde trajectories'. Through her works she rigorously explores themes concerning a female experience. Andrée is the 2017 recipient of the Music Fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts.

Andrée is developing a new chamber opera 'Three Marys' with Washington DC based writer Dr Christine Evans. The project was workshopped at Opera Queensland (OQ) in December 2019, supported by OQ, QPAC and the Australian Cultural Fund.

She was commissioned by Melbourne Festival to compose the ground breaking chamber opera 'Sweet Death', in which a young woman wilfully gorges herself on gourmet sweets, to death. Based upon the novel 'Le Mort Sucré' by Belgian writer Claude Tardat, 'Sweet Death' was broadcast by the ABC, and the subject of the PhD thesis of Dr Linda Kouvaras.

As artistic director of Green Room Music (GRM), Andrée regularly brings together unusual combinations of musicians from contemporary classical, popular music, indie and improvisation scenes. Such artists have included Deborah Conway (voice), Marshall McGuire (harp), Melissa Madden Gray (aka Meow Meow), Michael Kieran Harvey (piano), Christine Douglas (soprano), Miriam Allan (soprano), Paul Capsis (voice), Jeff Duff (voice), Peter Neville (percussion), David Hewitt (percussion), Cameron Undy (bass guitar), Toby Hall (drumkit), Hugo Race (voice and guitar), and Josh Barber (drums) and Lucas Taranto (bass) of Gotye.

Her multidisciplinary concert program GOTHIC, premiered at the Vivid Festival NSW in 2015, and was remounted at the Melbourne Arts Centre in 2018, with stunning motion graphics by Michaela French (UK); launched on CD in 2016, supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and the ARC for Excellence in the History of Emotions, University of Melbourne.

Andrée's music-theatre work Dreaming Transportation: Voice Portraits of the First Women of White Settlement at Port Jackson, based upon the verse history Botany Bay Document by Jordie Albiston, was commissioned for the Sydney Festival, and received a further season at the Playhouse, Sydney Opera House, in 2004. Dreaming Transportation was studio recorded by the ABC Music and Drama Units for various feature radio programs, one of which went on to win the Prix Marulic, Croatia.

Her collaboration with writer Hilary Bell Arrows I, II was a program standout as part of Decibel's commissioned concert 'After Julia', performed in the presence of the former prime minister at the ABC Studios Ultimo in 2014, and at Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, WA, 2015. 'After Julia' toured to Melbourne and Queensland Music Festival in July, 2017, with Greenwell performing in and leading the choirs in each city.

In 2003 Andrée was awarded the biennial NSW Women in Arts Fellowship, to create the music theatre work, The Hanging of Jean Lee, which traced the life of the last woman to be hanged in Australia, in 1951. Based upon the verse biography by Jordie Albiston and bringing together elements of the film biography, song cycle and the rock video, The Hanging of Jean Lee premiered at the Sydney Opera House, in 2006, was recorded by the ABC in 2007-08 for a variety of feature program broadcasts, and was released on CD in 2012. A Victorian production was presented at Arts House, North Melbourne, 2013.

In 2011 Andrée Greenwell co-composed Behind the Cane with David Bridie, commissioned by Queensland Music Festival artistic director, Deborah Conway, telling the stories of the Australian South Sea Islander community of Bowen. Scored for soloists, adult and children's choirs, brass trio, strings, guitar, keyboard, bass and double percussion, over 100 performers were involved in the project which was performed in the Bowen Sound Shell to audiences over of 8,000.

Through her studies at the Australian Film Television and Radio School Andrée directed, produced and composed Medusahead: a video opera clip for decapitated soprano and 3D animated snakes, starring soprano Helen Noonan, which toured to many international electronic arts and film festivals, was installed at ISCM World Music Days, Luxembourg, 2000, and purchased by Arts France, Kunst Kanal Holland and Eat Carpet SBS. Following the success of Medusahead, Greenwell established Green Room Music as a platform to develop screen and performance projects. The first of these, Laquiem: Tales from the Mourning of the Lac Women, initiated as a CD based upon the novella by Kathleen Mary Fallon, secondly, as a performance work at The Sydney Opera House, and, thirdly, excerpts were script adapted and directed by Greenwell for film, with the assistance of the Young Film Makers Fund of the NSW Film and Television Office. Laquiem screened at many international film festivals and on SBS.

Andrée Greenwell won a Green Room Award for the Bell Shakespeare/Malthouse co-production of Venus and Adonis, directed by Marion Potts, starring Melissa Madden Gray (aka Meow Meow) and Susan Prior. She was music director for STC's The School for Scandal, directed by Judy Davis in 2001, and Black Mary for the Festival of the Dreaming in 1998, collaborating with singer/songwriter Jimmy Little.

Andrée Greenwell was a resident composer at Chateau de La Napoule, France, 2002, assisted by an Australian Elizabethan Trust Travelling Scholarship; Lecturer in Composition at the University of Western Sydney 1999-2002 and teacher of song writing at University of Newcastle 2012-14. She was a guest presenter at the Visionlines Conference in association with Aarhus Festival; the ITI Music Theatre Workshop, Munich; and featured composer at the Nagambie Lakes Opera Festival, Victoria, 2015. Andrée was awarded a Doctorate of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong (2013) as a recipient of an Australian Post-Graduate Award.

Andrée Greenwell — current to January 2020

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2016 Art Music Awards: Award for Excellence by an Individual Finalist for her work as composer and Artistic Director of Green Room Music

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
On Wings Like Eagles : SATB choir with organ (2017) Commissioned by the family of Richard and Jenny Kaan to celebrate the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary, 17th February, 1968 (2018)
Digital sheet music sample Three songs after Julia : for voices and mixed ensemble (2014) Commissioned by Decibel with funds provided by Australia Council. Music Board.
Dreaming transportation : voice portraits of the first women of white settlement at Port Jackson (2003) Commissioned by Sydney Festival.
Digital sheet music sample War poems : for baritone, alto sax, cello, piano and percussion (1998) Composed at request of baritone Grant Smith for a workshop at Opera Australia in Melbourne, in 1998
Medusahead : a video opera clip for decapitated soprano and 3D animated snakes (1997) Commissioned by Australian Film, Television and Radio School.
Digital sheet music sample Songs with a few words : eight pieces for 2 soprano, alto, 2 tenor, and bass voices (1994) Commissioned by The Song Company.

Analysis & Media

- Review: The Song Company Modern Art Series #1 10 September 1996

- Review: The Song Company Viewing 30 May 1999