Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Renaissance anatomy, modern-day autopsy and the catholic mass for the dead collide in the spectacular piece of choral theatre that is Vesalius: a Requiem, coming to the national RiAus Science Exchange this June.

First performed in London at the Old Operating Theatre Museum, where it won a Barclay’s New Stages Award, and then at Teatri di Vita, Bologna, Vesalius: A Requiem will form the centrepiece of the Autumn program at the former Adelaide Stock Exchange building, now the home of the national science hub, the RiAus.

“The Science Exchange, where we will be performing, is a fascinating building - it offers state-of-the-art technology as well as being an icon of Adelaide’s architectural heritage. It’s a privilege to work in this space, and the team at RiAus are extremely supportive,” Vesalius director, Cheryl Pickering, says.

Featuring a commanding central performance by the British actor Graeme Rose and music by Adelaide-based composer Richard Chew, Vesalius: A Requiem promises to be one of the outstanding and innovative performance works of 2010.

“The Adelaide premiere will be the first performance of Vesalius to feature a live choir; the requiem they sing is like holding up a mirror to the great religious works of the past,” says composer and musical director, Richard Chew.

To ensure as authentic a performance as possible, preparation for the Vesalius creative team has included visits to the mortuary and guidance from the Flinders Medical Centre anatomy department.

Early booking is recommended, as seats are limited.

"Fascinating...the emphasis of the performance is on ritual, characterised by an eye-catching attention to detail and an elaborate layering of sounds, with spoken text, pre-recorded and live music overlapping. This creates a witty, charming and unusual evening," - Time Out, London (Critics Choice)

"The combination of singing, acting and anatomical imagery is both fascinating and moving - and not without some nice touches of humour," - What's On, London

Performances will last approximately one hour with no interval.
Preview: Wednesday 2 June, 7:30pm, All tix $15; 3 & 4 June 7:30pm; 5 & 6 June 3pm & 7:30pm.
Tickets: $25 adult, $20 concession/RiAus Member (Not recommended for children).

Venue: The RiAus Science Exchange: 55 Exchange Place, Adelaide. For bookings and more information please visit:

Music: Richard Chew
Director: Cheryl Pickering
Lighting and Projection Design: Nic Mollison
Designers: Diwani Oak & Rebecca Francis
Performed by Graeme Rose, Richard Chew, Philip Griffin and the Fabrica Singers.

Vesalius: A Requiem is presented by Various People Inc and is Supported by Choralworks and the Government of South Australia through Arts SA and the Royal Institution of Australia.

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The Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus)

The national science hub, the Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus) concentrates on ‘bringing science to people and people to science’. It creates real and virtual spaces in which people can listen, talk and think about science in all its shapes and forms and develop innovative and accessible ways of engaging the general community, raising scientific awareness and lifting the level of debate on critical issues arising from science and technology. The RiAus strives to highlight the importance of science in everyday life.
Julia Loughlin
P: (08) 8114 6166
M: 04 22 281 915


art, science, performance, theatre, choral theatre, RiAus, Royal Institution of Australia, Science Exchange, science hub, Vesalius, anatomy, autopsy, renaissance, requiem



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