contemporary opera
Project Description

An unusual relationship develops between a doomed cosmonaut as he floats through space and a lonely woman on earth who dreams of escaping the madding crowd.  

Inspired by the fate of Soviet cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who was in space as the USSR fell apart, the opera takes place over four orbits as our cosmonaut, Viktor Khlebnikov, listens to grabs of intercepted transmissions and broadcasts while the political situation on Earth twists and turns. During this time, he communicates for brief moments with Angela, who, isolated in her suburban Australian bedroom, becomes increasingly obsessed with her doomed spaceman.

The opera explores time, mob mentality, the loneliness of the individual and the possibility of connection between two distant souls.

Project Credits
Direction and Design

David Pledger


Malissa Madden Gray

Daniel Witton

Carlee Mellow

Grant Smith 

Katy MacDonald

Jeanie Van de Velde

Graham Lee

Peter Neville

Adam Simmons


David Chesworth


Tony MacGregor


James Verdon

Set and LX Design

Paul Jackson

Costume Design

Danielle Harrison


Sandra Matlock

Sandra Parker

Sonia Leber

Commissioned by:

Commissioned by Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, Cosmonaut was produced by Dance Works, Wax Sound Media with principal supporter, NYID.