Homegrown talent creates the world’s first Noongar language opera

Published on Thursday, 23 September 2021 at 1:35:54 PM

Bassendean resident of twenty-three years, Gina Williams AM, a Balladong Noongar woman, has made history by creating the world’s first opera to be sung in the Noongar language as part of WA Opera’s current season.

The ground-breaking project, Koolbardi wer Wardong, co-written with long-time musical partner Guy Ghouse, is set to debut at His Majesty’s Theatre next weekend.

The piece is a magical journey back to the Nyittiny, the time of Creation, and centres on Koolbardi the Magpie and Wardong the Crow who are two very proud, vain, jealous brothers whose cunning, rivalry and one-upmanship brings them unstuck in spectacular fashion.

In a world first, the entire performance is sung in Noongar with English subtitles.

Many young people around Australia know Gina as the Wanjoo lady. Wanjoo being the title of a welcome song written by the award-winning creative duo that has been shared more than 750,000 times as part of 500 school workshops taught across the country since 2009.

As a first nations woman, Gina, has always had a passion for community and culture, performing many of the songs off her five albums in Noongar, leading to her being honoured as Member of the Order of Australia in June this year, for significant service to the performing arts, to Indigenous music and to media.

For more information regarding Koolbardi wer Wardong and Gina Williams visit:

West Australian Opera - Home (waopera.asn.au)

Home (ginawilliams.com.au)

Photo credit: WA Opera

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