The State We're In, 3 March 2012. An Aboriginal soprano decides to write an opera for her people - and discovers her own family history. A composer travels to Cyprus and Palestine to unite broken communities with music, and one of TSWI’s producers rediscovers her Spanish roots - a little too late.
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Deborah Cheetham is one of Australia’s most celebrated opera singers.
She’s also Aboriginal, and wrote an opera featuring an Aboriginal cast.
While researching the opera, Deborah - who as a member of the "Stolen Generations" was taken from her mother when she was a baby - finally got to fill in the missing pieces about her own family history. View photos.
Deborah describes how the premier of her opera, Pecan Summer, went over with an Aboriginal audience in Australia.
Merlijn Twaalfhoven in Amsterdam is a composer without a concert hall.
He performs instead in areas of conflict - including the West Bank barrier in Palestine and the dividing wall in Cyprus. View photos.
The cities’ residents are his orchestra, and household items are their instruments.
Together, they create music to inspire peace and unite people - if only for as long as the music lasts.
Trailer for "Cyprus: Echoes Across the Divide"
TSWI producer Belinda Lopez is, as you’d guess from her surname, of Spanish ancestry. Read a transcript of Belinda's essay.
But she had little interest in learning Spanish while growing up in Australia – until she learned that her "yayo" (grandfather) lived through the Spanish Civil War.
Then she wanted to get his stories firsthand, in his language.
So she travelled to Spain and Latin America, and became fluent. But then she got a call to return home: her yayo was dying.
Susan Cheyne makes her "office" in the muddy forests of Kalimantan, Indonesia.
The Scottish primatologist studies gibbons and their sensational songs. View photos.
The male-female duets are for her a symbol of domestic harmony, and make the forest feel like home to her.
Susan’s organisation, the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project, is looking for volunteers!