After a successful premiere at Bondi Feast Festival in July this year, Blush Opera brings its new operatic comedy, How To Build A Billy, to Armidale. Billed as a show with big voices, big banging and more than a few screws loose, this madcap contemporary opera requires two singers to build flatpack IKEA furniture from scratch at the same time as telling the story of two siblings struggling to cope with their newly widowed mother’s ever-growing book collection. It’s a race against the clock as the siblings’ competitive spirit takes over. Who will fall apart? Who will put one of the pieces on back to front by accident? This is a show for anyone who has lost it trying to save money by building their own furniture.
How to Build a Billy was written by UNE music lecturer Paul Smith and stars Jermaine Chau and Rebecca Moret. Jermaine returns to Armidale after her acclaimed performance as Carmen with Opera New England in 2015. Rebecca is a Sydney-based soprano who last toured to Armidale with vocal group Voci Stupende. Paul and Jermaine are co-artistic directors of Blush which is a Sydney-based ensemble dedicated to expanding types of opera by incorporating elements of comedy, cabaret, musical theatre and physical theatre. They have performed at festivals around Australian and bring their unique opera aesthetic to diverse communities.