Schott Music

Skip to Main Content »


Work of the Week – Mary Finsterer: Antarctica

The eternal ice is no more: The climate crisis continues to impact the coldest and southernmost places on earth. In their new opera Antactica, Australian composer Mary Finsterer and her librettist Tom Wright paint a picture of this changing continent. The new piece will premiere on 5 June 2022 at the Holland Festival with Asko|Schoenberg Ensemble, conducted by Jack Symonds. Director Imara Savage and her team create Antarctica’s scenic realisation at Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw aan ’t  IJ. 

A continent like an open book: Antarctica by Mary Finsterer

A group of explorers struggling through the Antarctic come across a girl who, trapped in the ice in the 19th century, now retells her experiences. The Australian composer Mary Finsterer alongside dramatist Tom Wright set this tale of exploration on the continent long known as the perennial ice sheet. The Antarctic has preserved the geological history of the earth like a book and can now tell its own story.

In a time when anthropogenic climate change is destabilising all centres (political, cultural, scientific), Antarctica becomes a stage for a drama of the future. Mary Finsterer

Antarctica is the first work since the collaboration between Mary Finsterer and Schott Music. A second performance is taking place on 6 June at Holland Festival and the Australian premiere is scheduled for 2023 at Sydney.


photos: Dear Golja (Finsterer) / Patrick Poendl (background)