Your Safety & Wellbeing
Book tickets

Performance dates & times

Friday 11 Jun
1:00 PM*

*Relaxed performance

Running Time 50 minutes, plus 10 minute Q&A

Price range

Per student
One teacher for every 10 students will be admitted free of charge.

*All school bookings include four FREE livestreamed workshops provided by Victorian Opera as part of their Access All Areas: Livestream Program. Find out more

Need a little extra help to make a visit to Arts Centre Melbourne possible?
Thanks to generous donors, our subsidy program can help cover the costs of tickets and transport for eligible schools.
SUITABILITY: Prep to Year 9

Victorian Opera presents Parrwang Lifts the Sky, a Relaxed Performance for primary and secondary school students.

Written by Yorta Yorta soprano and composer Deborah Cheetham AO, this vibrant new work tells the creation story of the sunrise from the oral history of the Wadawurrung people.

Did you know that magpies created the first dawn?*

A long time ago….

The sky was a blanket on the land. The earth was in darkness and the people were afraid. It was a very sad state of affairs and would have stayed that way except for the courage of Parrwang the Magpie.

Tjatjarrang (Big Sister) and Koki (Brother) are young, adventurous and tired of living in the dark. When they manage to climb to the highest branches of an ancient gum tree, they discover an exciting new world and a steadfast friend in Parrwang, who decides to help the young humans lift the blanket of darkness from the ground.

A plan is devised, but can Parrwang convince the Great Council of Birds to agree?

*Based on a traditional story from Wadawurrung Country.

Prepare for the performance with Victorian Opera’s Access All Areas: Livestream Program. Join us inside the rehearsal room to meet the cast and creative teams, discover Wadawurrung culture and learn about how a production comes together on stage.

What is a Relaxed Performance?

Relaxed Performances are for anyone who will benefit from a more relaxed environment, especially audience members with a disability. The doors to the theatre remain open, and sound and lighting cues may be adjusted. There is a relaxed attitude to movement and noise and you can leave the auditorium if you need a break. A designated quiet area is provided and a visual story is available to help prepare for your visit. It describes the story line, characters and coming to the venue, so that the experience is familiar and enjoyable. The seating capacity of the venue may be reduced.

Relaxed Performances are recommended for Special Development Schools and any schools who may require a more relaxed environment in which to experience this performance. Please email for more information.


Curriculum Links

Learning Areas Capabilities Cross-curriculum Priorities
The Arts:
Drama and Music
  • Explore and Express Ideas
  • Respond and Interpret
Critical and Creative Thinking Learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
Victorian Aboriginal Languages
  • Understanding
Intercultural Capability
  • Writing
  • Speaking and Listening
Personal and Social Capability
The Humanities:
  • Historical Knowledge


Available April 2021


Your safety and wellbeing

Face masks are strongly recommended where 1.5m physical distancing is not possible. Our indoor venues are operating at up to 100% capacity so you may be seated next to other patrons. Read more about our COVIDSafe measures



Deborah Cheetham
Richard Mills
Cameron Menzies, assisted by Deborah Cheetham
BJ O’Toole
Deanne Gilson
Mel Serjeant
Victorian Opera Chamber Ensemble
Ammie Howell and BJ O’Toole


Georgina Hall
Deborah Cheetham
Don Bemrose
Mr Waa
Kiran Rajasingam
Mrs Waa/Mother
Shauntai Batzke
Jess Hitchcock
Michael Petruccelli
Presented in association with Short Black Opera. Victorian Opera acknowledges the support of the following organisations:

  • Victorian Opera
  • Short Black Opera
  • Australian Council for the Arts
  • Victorian Government
  • The Robert Salzer Foundation
  • The Marian and E.H. Flack Trust
  • Gailey Lazarus Foundation
  • Beseb Family Foundation
  • William Angliss Charitable Fund

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