The opening night performance of the Australian Opera’s Lindy, last Friday, began and ended with rapturous applause. The applause at the end was rightly focused on Joanna Cole who gave a truly heroic performance of a difficult score. The surprise applause even before the curtain was raised was directed at the OA’s departing musical director Simone Young who was given a rousing welcome as she entered the opera theatre to take her seat in the audience. Young, whose contract was not renewed after her plans for next season were judged too costly, stood and bowed gracefully from her seat as half the audience rose to give her a standing ovation. The Chamberlain drama is a natural operatic story so it was disappointing that the text and direction of this production relied on easy literal devices such as the press corps as mob -“ complete with schoolyard nah nah nah taunts. But Cole managed to inject pathos and depth into the production giving the maligned Lindy Chamberlain the tribute she deserves.

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