Composer Andrée Greenwell is perhaps best known for her versatility. Inspired by the likes of Philip Glass and Meredith Monk during her formative years, Greenwell built her name as a cutting-edge theatre creator, with credits across radio, ballet, film and television. But for her newest work, Three Marys, Greenwell decided to embrace the traditions of Western opera.

“As a composer who’s worked in a lot of different music genres and artistic disciplines, it’s really important that the idea I’m exploring is appropriate to the form,” she says. “To me, the story about the three Marys – three exiled women journeying across water – is ideal for the operatic form. The tradition of opera allows us to explore profound human experiences through a unique vocal expression, and I could see an opportunity to ‘give voice’ to these women in literal and metaphoric ways.”

andree greenwell

Andrée Greenwell. Photo supplied.

Three Marys is inspired by the medieval French myth of three Biblical women, including Mary Magdalene, who were exiled from their homes following the crucifixion of Jesus. According to legend, the women were forced into an oarless...