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Eumeralla: A War Requiem for Peace

"One day I hope to walk on that country and feel no restless spirit just the strength of two thousand generations of lives lived and culture sustained. Southwest of Melbourne lies a battleground, haunted with the memory of war and loss. The scars of the Eumeralla Resistance War (1840–1863) lie heavily upon the country. I first walked on this battlefield in 2013. The voices of those lost were so loud that it woke something in me, and my immediate response was music. A song. A requiem. A war requiem, named in honour of one of the most brutal resistance wars fought on this continent.” – Deborah Cheetham-Fraillon AO Eumeralla: A War Requiem for Peace brings into focus a period of Australia’s history that is yet to be fully understood. Written and composed by acclaimed Yorta Yorta soprano, composer and Artistic Director of Short Black Opera, Deborah Cheetham AO, this requiem for peace, is sung entirely in the ancient dialects of the Gunditjmara people, accompanied by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as well as musicians from Melbourne Youth Orchestra and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. “It is my hope that this requiem will help the spirits of those who fell to find a lasting peace and that we, their descendants, might find our way to deeper understanding of the legacy of these battles. It is Cheetham-Fraillon's hope that "Eumeralla: A War Requiem for Peace will break the silence of so many decades and serve to amplify the importance of our nations shared history." Revisit the 2019 world premiere of Eumeralla before the MSO performs the work on October 14, when Australia votes on the historic referendum for a Voice to Parliament.

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