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Bowerbird is pleased to present Moonlite, a new work by composer Wally Gunn and librettist Maria Zajkowski performed by Variant 6, Mobius Percussion and Veronica Jurkiewicz. Moonlite concert-length oratorio is based on the true story of the 19th-century Australian outlaw Andrew George Scott, known as “Captain Moonlite.” Captain Moonlite—a rogue, a brigand, a criminal, and a queer—is an outsider who chafes at the constraints of Victorian-era society. He dreams of founding a utopia for himself and the lover he met in prison, James Nesbitt. Unable to make a life in society upon their release, Scott and Nesbitt resign themselves to living outside it, and in pursuing this end, the pair, by misconduct and misfortune, fall foul of the law. Banding together with some other misfits, they set off on a gruelling trek through Australia’s arid outback and find themselves in a series of increasingly desperate situations which culminate in a stand-off and shoot-out with police. An officer is shot and killed, and Nesbitt, also shot fatally, dies in Scott’s arms. Scott, stricken and defeated, is imprisoned and sentenced to death by hanging for his crimes. In his cell, he writes heartrendingly of his love for Nesbitt, his terrible loss, and his hope that he will be reunited with his lover in the next world.
Variant 6 Rebecca Myers and Kathryn Radakovich, sopranos Elisa Sutherland, mezzo-soprano Steven Bradshaw and James Reese, tenors Daniel Schwartz, bass-baritone
Mobius Percussion Mika Godbole Nicole Patrick Victor Pablo Jessica Tsang