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Andrew Schultz's "Journey to Horseshoe Bend"

  • by Gordon Kalton Williams
  • Source: Published by Symphony Services
  • Only 10% of this article's text is displayed below for reference purposes.
    Please contact the copyright holder/source publication to obtain the full article.

Journey to Horseshoe Bend - cantata for actors, singers, choruses and orchestra (based on the novel by T.G.H. Strehlow)

Horseshoe Bend

World premiere

Music: Andrew Schultz (born 1960)
Libretto: Gordon Kalton Williams (born 1956)
Producer: Alexandra Cameron
Director: John Wregg

Cast in order of appearance:
T.G.H. (T.G.H. Strehlow), speaking part - John Stanton
Carl (the Rev. Carl Strehlow), bass-baritone - Rodney Macann
Njitiaka, speaking part - Aaron Pedersen
Theo (the young T.G.H., son of Carl), boy soprano - Rowan Witt, Sydney Children's Choir (Coach: Lyn Williams)
Ntaria Ladies Choir (Chorusmaster: David Roennfeldt)
Sydney Philharmonia Motet Choir, covering the characters of Frieda, Pastoralists, Mrs Elliott, Men at The Bend and Gus Elliott (Chorusmaster: Brett Weymark)

T.G.H. Strehlow's autobiographical novel Journey to Horseshoe Bend tells of the mortally-ill missionary Carl Strehlow's desperate 12-day journey down the dry bed of the Finke River, Central Australia to reach the Adelaide-bound train at Oodnadatta in 1922. It tells of Strehlow's death at the hotel at Horseshoe Bend (at least 270 kilometres short of his destination); of Theo (T.G.H. Strehlow), Carl's newly-confirmed 14-year-old son, travelling behind his parents in the van with their friends Njitiaka, Lornie and Jakobus; and of Theo's awakening to the storied landscape of the Aboriginal people as his father struggles with the Christian faith which has sustained him for 25 years as superintendent at Hermannsburg Mission, west of Alice Springs.

Early in the novel Pastor Strehlow is brought from his house for the last time. As he is lifted into the buggy that will take him to Ellery Creek and then down the Finke, the mission people burst into ...