Jóhannsson: Last and First Men – Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House, Joan Sutherland Hall
Sunday, Jun 2, 2019 at 7.30pm
Journey to a stunningly evocative future, with the exclusive Australian premiere of the late composer Jóhann Jóhannsson’s "Last and First Men", a multimedia work and live score. Shot in black and white, this enigmatic film was also directed by Jóhannsson, with narration by famous British actress Tilda Swinton, live musical accompaniment by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Theatre of Voices - all led by Australian conductor Benjamin Northey.
Seven years in the making, Jóhannsson’s opus takes Olaf Stapledon’s visionary 1930 sci-fi novel and transforms it into a deeply moving exploration of humanity’s dystopian future. "Last and First Men" is a unique mix of film and fiction with breathtaking 16mm footage, Swinton’s indelible voice and the composer’s wonderfully strange and mesmerising score.
This Sydney performance follows the successful premiere of "Last and First Men" at the Manchester International Festival and the Barbican in London, and serves as a fitting tribute to Jóhann Jóhannsson, who past away in 2018.