In the weeks following September 11, five young women presented separately to hospitals in New York with identical symptoms. They were unable to swallow and believed that debris from the destruction had lodged in their throats. The surgeon who examined them found no obstruction. This haunting image became the seed for The Howling Girls.

Created by director Adena Jacobs, composer Damien Ricketson and soprano Jane Sheldon, The Howling Girls explores the medium and metaphor of the voice. Featuring a solitary soprano and a throbbing chorus of young voices, together with an immersive orchestration of theremin, keyboards and electroacoustic music, the score is a kind of proto-language, an attempt to communicate in a mode beyond the rational: a sensory spectacle to bypass the brain and work directly on the body. Presented by Carriageworks and Sydney Chamber Opera.

Sydney Chamber Opera, The Howling Girls, Image Sam Hodge, 2018