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Riverside Theatres and National Theatre of Parramatta
present Soundscapes


Venue Lennox Theatre
Dates 01 April 2017
Category Live Event

Myths of Creation
Children’s Opera by Ruben Zahra

Inspired by the creation of myths and legends from China, India, Babylon and Mesopotamia, don’t miss the Australian premiere of this energetic performance.

A unique project bringing together professional artists and young talent from Western Sydney.

Featuring an expressive musical score for piano and percussion, as well as stunning artworks by local students which will be transformed into digital animations and projected throughout the performance, this is a must-see!

Photo by: Mārtiņš Vilcēns

Dates & Times:
Saturday 1 April at 2:15pm & 7:30pm

Music and Direction
Ruben Zahra

Diane Portelli

Tricia Dawn Williams

Digital Animation

Shadow Puppets
Matthew Pandolfino

Trevor Zahra

Technical Director
Christopher Gatt

Images by
Stephen Buhagiar

Supported by the External Cultural Programme of the 2017 Maltese EU Presidency.

Suitable for Years 5 – 9

From the Program Coordinator:
An Australian exclusive, we are ecstatic to be the first English speaking theatre to present this internationally acclaimed production. Kirana gives dance and music students the rare opportunity to CREATE AND PERFORM with professional touring artists in a work that speaks about universal truths and creation mythology. We are on the hunt for the best young talent for this one, so make sure you let all of your budding musicians and dancers know about it!

Curriculum Links:
Download the full curriculum links for Kirana here: Kirana Curriculum Links

About the Venues:

  • Workshops – Studio 404: Located 2 blocks away from Riverside, Studio 404 is equipped with 4 rehearsal rooms and 2 bathrooms. Level access is available by prior arrangement.
  • Rehearsal/Performances – Lennox Theatre: Seats 213 people and is a large room with quite a high ceiling and with grey concrete walls, black floor and curtains. The seating is tiered and goes 10 rows back, with stair access to all but the first row (wheelchair access being available in the first row). The black allows different sets to become the focus of the space.

Specific Access:
Find out about our accessibility options by clicking here
Download a social story about Lennox Theatre here: Lennox Theatre Social Story

Workshops/Rehearsal –
Registration free. Workshop places are strictly limited. A maximum of 20 music students and 30 dance students will be accepted. Students must fill out an application form for this project on our website. Applicants will be selected based on experience. All applicants must be available from 27 March – 2 April inclusive.
Performances – $20 all tickets


We do our best to accommodate everyone, but shows fill fast. Additional performances are not always possible.


All bookings require a completed Booking Form. Risk assessments and education support materials (where provided) are available online.


Complete online (preferred), fax, email or post your booking form to Riverside Education
Fax: 02 9683 3267
Scan and email:
Mail: Riverside Education, PO Box 3636, Parramatta, NSW, 2124.

N.B. Please do not send any payments with your booking form. Riverside will confirm your booking and then issue a tax invoice for your deposit. Bookings are made in strict order of receipt. Please ensure you have given a valid email address on your booking form as this is our main method of communication.


Riverside will confirm your booking and invoice the school for a non-refundable 25% deposit. Teachers receive complimentary seating on a 20:1 ratio (unless otherwise stipulated). Once you have paid your deposit, your booking is secure and Riverside will issue an invoice for full payment.


Full payment is required 4 weeks prior to the performance date.

If we do not receive payment OR proof of your DoE purchase order, we have the right to cancel your booking and you will forfeit your deposit.


The DoE takes 30 days from an invoice being submitted to payment being received by Riverside, therefore we MUST have full payment OR proof that the purchase order has been submitted to the DoE no later than four weeks prior to the performance date.

This is a new system for many public schools so we strongly recommend receiving monies and permission slips at least 7 weeks before the payment is due. This will allow any final changes in numbers (subject to availability). We cannot reduce numbers after payment has been received.


Confirmation of final numbers and final balance is required four weeks prior to the performance date. A reduction of numbers is not permitted after this date.

An increase of numbers is possible after the final payment day but is subject to availability.

Please note, all school bookings made within 4 school weeks of a performance date must be paid in full within 1 week of confirmation and are final. There are no refunds or changes to numbers or dates on these bookings.


Prior to your visit, we will send you detailed information via email to ensure you have a hassle-free excursion. This will include updating you on any possible changes to running times or more detailed information as it emerges from the rehearsal process.


If you have concerns about meeting the terms and conditions, please email or call 02 8839 3308.

Local students collaborate with professional Maltese artists to bring myths alive on stage

In a coup for Sydney’s Central City, Parramatta, Riverside Theatres and National Theatre of Parramatta have partnered with Maltese company, Soundscapes, to bring an exciting and unique project, Kirana: Myths of Creation, A Children’s Opera by Ruben Zahra, to life on Riverside’s stage. After successfully running overseas, this is the first time Kirana will be presented in Australia and in English. It is supported by the External Cultural Programme of the 2017 Maltese EU Presidency.

Inspired by the creation myths and legends from China, India, Babylon and Mesopotamia, this contemporary children’s opera allows local music and dance students to participate directly in the creative process by contributing to the shaping of the music, drama and digital animation through a series of workshops and art classes. As well as being supported in these workshops by three professional Maltese artists and a professional local actor, percussionist and visual artists, these children will have the unique opportunity to co-present the final piece on Riverside’s stage in April.

Conceived so it can be presented after just one week of rehearsals, the opera can be presented in any country with children of any nationality. This is possible as the narrative has been assigned to a storyteller – a professional actor from the country where the performance is taking place. The children animate each scene through movement, vocal improvisation and rhythm.

Featuring an expressive modern musical score composed for piano and percussion, the children complement this soundtrack by creating soundscapes with raw authentic materials. The sequence of improvised rhythmic patterns which they develop in the workshops represents the four elements – water, air, earth and fire.

The creator of Kirana, Ruben explained, “The children contribute directly to the shaping of the piece with their own rhythms, music and language. Kirana introduces children to a range of new artistic experiences from contemporary music to percussion workshops, stop motion animation and light painting. This project also combines contemporary expression with some of the most basic and primordial forms of art. On one hand, there is digital animation and contemporary music for piano and percussion and on the other there are rhythmic patterns on stone, trickling water and howling wind.”

To add another depth to this clever and innovative project, some of the scenes in this mythological journey are portrayed through digital animations. These will be projected onto an inflatable spherical screen that easily folds up and fits into the artists’ luggage.

Over the January School Holidays, Parramatta Artists’ Studios facilitated a series of art workshops which allowed children to develop and create a series of drawings and colleges for this purpose. In conjunction with this, a series of art workshops were held with the students of St Mary Primary School, Rydalmere in the first week of February. All of these artworks will be scanned and processed by the digital animator into a video to be projected during the show.

Extremely passionate about this special project, Ruben said, “The beauty of Kirana is that each production is unique because every group of children involved in this project is unique.” Don’t miss this Australian exclusive featuring young local talent as they create and perform with professional artists to produce a high-quality performance.


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Approximately 55 minutes

Ticket Prices

All tickets $20

Transaction fees apply

Phone $4.60
Web $3.60
Counter $2.60
Screen $1.65
School Bookings $4.00

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