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Jessica Wells: The Night Parrot
Morgan England-Jones soprano • Acacia Quartet
A musical tale of hope.
The Night Parrot is one of the most elusive and mysterious birds in the world. Believed to be extinct for 100 years, this shy, nocturnal, ground-dwelling Australian parrot with its distinctive green and gold feathers was finally spotted in the wild, and a 56,000 hectare reserve has been created to protect and nurture the tiny remaining population.
Setting a bush poetry-style text created by librettist Jeff Wells, composer Jessica Wells traces in music the story of the Night Parrot, and the quest to find it and bring it back from the edge of extinction: an exploration, she says, ‘of the human endeavour that had almost destroyed this little bird, but has now saved it.’ Her music evokes the vast and sparse outback environment that the Night Parrot inhabits; it examines the predators and dangers that threaten its existence; it takes us to Victorian England and the posh drawing rooms where stuffed birds were sent; it shows us the first time a bird was held in human hands for over 130 years; and finally, it reflects on the importance of the effort to preserve the species now and into the future.
Performed by award-winning soprano Morgan England-Jones and the Acacia Quartet, this is a heartwarming and uplifting musical account of one of this country’s great stories.
The Night Parrot
III. Channel Country
IV. The Story of a Little Bird
VI. The Story of a Precious Bird
VIII. The Story of Pezoporus occidentalis
IX. Sundown in the Spinifex (Re-enactment)
Morgan England-Jones soprano
Lisa Stewart violin
Myee Clohessy violin
Stefan Duwe viola
Anna Martin-Scrase cello