Leonard Cohen’s ‘Book of Longing’ is in Melbourne for one night

words by Sidonie Bird from the heart

A multidimensional performance combining opera with poetry, image and text, ‘Book of Longing’ will be performed on May 13 in Federation Square.

An intensely personal work, book of desire is an intimate piece encompassing the friendship of legendary musicians in their own right – Leonard Cohen and Philip Glass. Adapted by Glass from Leonard Cohen’s 2006 collection of poems book of desire to a contemporary opera, this is a unique opportunity to see a rarely performed composition. It will be performed for one night only at The Edge in Federation Square.

What you need to know

  • The Australian Contemporary Opera Company presents book of desire – an adaptation of the poetry of Leonard Cohen
  • book of desire was composed by Philip Glass and combines opera with poetry, image and text
  • The performance will take place at The Edge in Federation Square, on Friday 13 May at 8pm

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Featuring the famous singer Richard Piper as the voice of Leonard Cohen, book of desire tries to reproduce the atmosphere of the poetic works of the legendary singer. Piper, who has appeared in over 80 productions, 40 of which have been part of the Melbourne Theater Company, including: pirates of the caribbean and come from afar, brings Leonard Cohen’s iconic vocal tone to his performance without delving into outright imitation. His voice is accompanied by four singers and eight instrumentalists to bring Leonard Cohen’s drawings and paintings to life.

book of desire is presented in association with the Australian Contemporary Opera Company and conducted by Carlo Antonioli, Cybec Assistant Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Directed by Linda Thompson, this multidimensional performance features soprano Emily Burke, mezzo Dimity Shepherd, tenor Martin Buckingham and baritone Christopher Tonkin.

The opera composed by minimalist, contemporary classical composer Philip Glass can be seen for just one night at The Edge in Federation Square.

For more information, or to reserve your tickets, go here.

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