John Marsden and Shaun Tan’s compelling picture-book The Rabbits is brought to life

In this extraordinary production, John Marsden and Shaun Tan’s compelling picture-book The Rabbits is brought to life as a new work of operatic theatre for adults and children alike. This is a story of hope in the face of colonisation, displacement and despair. While the world in The Rabbits is imaginary, its parallels with our own are eerily recognisable, causing us to question the constructs of modern life: society, culture, environment … the essence of humanity.

The Rabbits brings together an exceptional Australian creative team. Award-winning vocalist Kate Miller-Heidke leads a cast of singers and musicians, performing her own compositions and Lally Katz’s enchanting libretto, with additional music from Iain Grandage.

This project was assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals, Perth International Arts Festival and Melbourne Festival; and the Western Australian Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts. The Rabbits, written by John Marsden and illustrated by Shaun Tan, was first published in Australia by Lothian Books and this opera is produced by arrangement with Hachette Australia Pty Ltd.

A Barking Gecko Theatre and Opera Australia Co-Production in association with the West Australian Opera commissioned by Perth Festival and Melbourne Festival. The Rabbits premiered in 2015 in Perth, and has had subsequent seasons in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

"▶ Best New Australian Work – Barking Gecko Theatre Company and Opera Australia The Rabbits ▶ Best Presentation for Children – Barking Gecko Theatre Company and Opera Australia The Rabbits ▶ Best Costume Design – Gabriella Tylesova The Rabbits ▶ Best Original Score – Kate Miler – Heidke with Iain Grandage The Rabbits"
— Helpmann Awards
"Opera purists and newcomers of all ages will be moved by The Rabbits, a co-production between Opera Australia and Barking Gecko Theatre Company."
— Herald Sun

Based on the book written by John Marsden and illustrated by Shaun Tan

Composer Kate Miller-Heidke
Libretto Lally Katz
Adapted and directed John Sheedy
Musical directormusical arrangements and additional music Iain Grandage
Designer Gabriela Tylesova