One of Perth’s popular northern pleasure spots, Scarborough is renowned for its surfing and swimming, and lively cafés and bars overlooking the Indian Ocean. For opera, not so much. Then again, The Invisible Opera is a far cry from being a typical opera.

The Invisible Opera, Perth Festival. Photo © Miles Noel Studio

When the performance-maker and multidisciplinary artist Sophia Brous was invited by a New York arts festival to create a work for public space, she opted to make the space itself a work. The Invisible Opera was duly created, and to date it has been performed in Singapore, New York, Graz and Melbourne – cities with a vastly different climate and ambience to that of Perth.

Previous settings for this work have always been in metropolitan areas, in city squares or train stations. Brous has observed that each time the work is performed, an almost-new piece is generated, with the work shifting and developing in response to each new environment in which it is staged. Here, at Scarborough Beach Amphitheatre, the setting sun gives the performance space a warm glow. The early evening atmosphere is casual, the mood relaxed.