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No Friend but the Mountains: A Symphonic Song Cycle


No Friend but the Mountains: A Symphonic Song Cycle

  • Date: Sunday, 21 March 2021, 5pm [gates open at 3:30pm]
  • Venue: Sidney Myer Music Bowl — The Arts Centre, Kings Domain, Melbourne, VIC
  • Tickets: General: $45 - $300 — Tickets can be purchased online or by phone on 1300 182 183

Event Details

Featuring soloist Bass Baritone Adrian Tamburini with the Zelman Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Bach Choir conducted by Rick Prakhoff, this world premiere will illuminate a part of Australia’s story the public was not meant to see.

Thumbed on a phone, smuggled out in thousands of text messages. The near impossibility of its existence. On Nauru and Manus Island, they live in a zoo of cruelty.

No Friend but the Mountains, Behrouz Boochani's multi-award winning book which chronicles his perilous journey as an asylum seeker and his forced detention on Manus Island, is the inspiration for this Symphonic Song Cycle by prolific Australian composer, Luke Styles.

Boochani, a Kurdish-Iranian journalist, writer and film-maker, penned his book in secret in Farsi on a mobile phone as a series of hundreds of text messages. He opened up the hidden world of detention, shone a light on the conditions endured by detainees on Manus and exposed a brutal system ostensibly designed to deter other asylum seekers while breaking those caught in it.

To open the event, Behrouz Boochani will appear in conversation via video reflecting on this new adaptation of his story.

Luke Styles' first Australian opera Ned Kelly premiered to critical acclaim at the 2019 Perth Festival and his song cycle On Bunyah premiered at Wigmore Hall, London.


Rick Prakhoff - conductor
Adrian Tamburini - bass-baritone
Melbourne Bach Choir
Wilma Smith - Guest Concertmaster
Susan Pierotti - Concertmaster


Behrouz Boochani – Interview
Luke Styles - No Friend but the Mountains: A Symphonic Song Cycle

Further information for this event is available online at the event's website

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