John Paul College teacher to lead WA Opera’s first Noongar performance in Kalgoorlie

22 June 2022

Rosalie Scott

John Paul College music and voice teacher Rosalie Scott will lead the West Australian Opera’s first Noongar language performance when Koolbardi wer Wardong is staged in Kalgoorlie in August.

Mrs Scott said she was thrilled to be appointed the Children’s Chorus Leader for the show, which will incorporate the singing talents of 22 local Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young people, including John Paul College students, aged between seven and 17.

Koolbardi wer Wardong is the well-known story of the magpie and the crow – two proud, vain and jealous brothers, following their cunning tactics, rivalry and one-upmanship.

“In February, WA Opera contacted me as they knew I had moved to Kalgoorlie and asked me to be the regional choir director for the Goldfields performance of the show,” Mrs Scott said.

“Of course, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to engage with such incredible singers and musicians and to share my passion for music with the children of the Goldfields.”

Mrs Scott said the cast had started rehearsals in Kalgoorlie.

“It was incredible to meet the composers Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse on Saturday as they shared the journey of bringing this incredible opera to fruition,” she said.

It’s an inspiring and truly humbling experience to work on this important show and prepare the children for what I’m sure will be an amazing performance.”

Rosalie Scott, John Paul College music and voice teacher

“Their passion for sharing their language and culture in an accessible and modernised way is truly infectious and all the students in the Goldfields Children’s Chorus are so excited to be a part of the show.”

Mrs Scott, who moved to Kalgoorlie earlier this year and has more than 15 years’ experience working with children’s choirs, said it was a privilege to work on such an innovative, cutting-edge show like Koolbardi wer Wardong.

“With the current pandemic, many children have not had the chance to experience other cultures and other places,” she said.

“The power of music, composed in such an authentic way from these culture-bearers, allows these kids to experience this.

“I was lucky enough to travel internationally as a child and those experiences shaped my understanding as an adult, my tolerance and my compassion for others.

“This project, in one small way, allows these children to do the same alongside learning music, singing technique and stagecraft. It’s an inspiring and truly humbling experience to work on this important show and prepare the children for what I’m sure will be an amazing performance.”

Koolbardi wer Wardong will show at the Goldfields Arts Centre on August 12.

The performance is part of a regional tour of Koolbardi wer Wardong by WA Opera, which will also present in Esperance in September.

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