Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets

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Tom Waits and
William S. Burroughs’ cult musical fable takes over Melbourne

The Black Rider

Victorian Opera and Malthouse Theatre present Tom Waits and William S. Burroughs’ presents

Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets

Tom Waits and William S. Burroughs’ cult musical fable has become one of the most iconic pieces of avant garde theatre since it premiered in 1990. Finding its roots in German folktale Der Freischütz (also the basis for Weber’s opera), the story follows a file clerk’s desperation to prove his worth by entering a Faustian pact. However, the Devil’s bargain is always a fool’s bargain. An allegory of addiction, the plot mirrors the tragic events of Burroughs’ own life.

A co-production between Victorian Opera and Malthouse Theatre, Black Rider stars an enviable line-up of Australia’s most cherished ‘enfants terribles’ — Paul Capsis (The Threepenny Opera) alongside Meow Meow and Kanen Breen, who bookend our 2017 Season following ’Tis Pity in February. Matthew Lutton takes the helm as director with musical direction from Victorian Opera’s Head of Music Phoebe Briggs

Original Music and Lyrics by Tom Waits
Text by William S. Burroughs


Composer Tom Waits
Librettists William S. Burroughs

Musical Director Phoebe Briggs
Musical Supervisor Iain Grandage
Director Matthew Lutton
Set & Costume Designer Zoe Atkinson
Sound Designer Jim Atkins
Lighting Designer Paul Jackson
Soundscape Designer Jethro Woodward
Sound Designer Jim Atkins
Cast Kanen Breen, Paul Capsis, Meow Meow

Victorian Opera Chamber Orchestra

Original Direction/ Robert Wilson
Music & Lyrics / Tom Waits
Text / William S. Burroughs
Original Music Arrangements / Greg Cohen and Tom Waits
Dramaturgy / Wolfgang Wiens
©2005 St. Rose Music Publishing Co., Inc. Used by Permission.


Tickets on sale December 1

Friday 15 Sept, 7:30pm
Saturday 16 Sept, 7:30pm
Monday 18 Sept, 6:30pm
Tuesday 19 Sept, 6:30pm
Wednesday 20 Sept, 7:30pm
Thursday 21 Sept, 1:00pm
Thursday 21 Sept, 7:30pm
Friday 22 Sept, 7:30pm
Saturday 23 Sept, 3:00pm
Saturday 23 Sept, 7:30pm
Tuesday 26 Sept, 6:30pm
Wednesday 27 Sept, 7:30pm
Thursday 28 Sept, 1:00pm
Thursday 28 Sept, 7:30pm
Friday 29 Sept, 7:30pm
Saturday 30 Sept, 7:30pm
Sunday 1 Oct, 5:00pm
Tuesday 3 Oct, 6:30pm
Wednesday 4 Oct, 7:30pm
Thursday 5 Oct, 1:00pm
Thursday 5 Oct, 7:30pm
Friday 6 Oct, 7:30pm
Saturday 7 Oct, 3:00pm
Saturday 7 Oct, 7:30pm
Sunday 8 Oct, 1:00pm
Sunday 8 Oct, 5:00pm


Malthouse Theatre


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All single ticket sales are processed through Malthouse Theatre, please click the Book Now button for all pricing information.


Sung in English