Past Productions

KURSK: An Oratorio Requiem


2011 Melbourne International Festival

In August 2000, a faulty torpedo caused the sinking of the nuclear submarine Kursk, deep in the Arctic reaches of the Barents Sea. With the Russian government unable or unwilling to help, the world watched in horror as the 118 souls aboard were slowly, inexorably lost to the inky silence of the ocean’s floor.

From the seeds of this grim spectacle, multi‑award winning Australian composer David Chisholm has created an ambitious memorial to the personal and symbolic tragedy that was the sinking of the Kursk. Chisholm has set renowned Russian poet Anzhelina Polonskaya’s melancholic verse within an original composition for an eight‑voice male consort and 26‑piece chamber orchestra.

Sweeping in scope, devastating in tone and unwavering in its artistic vision, KURSK received an overwhelming response from critics and audiences alike at its Melbourne Festival world premiere performance.