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There are numerous websites devoted to the extensive history of this publicized case and all the complicated details can be found there. Eventually, after new evidence was discovered years later, Lindy's sentence was overturned and she was released from jail. The court case was emblematic for the Australian people in revealing the flaws of the justice system.

Rodriguez's libretto is divided into two acts -- the first one entitled Darwin Prison Dreaming and the second one Awakening. The first act traces the original event at Uluru itself and the court case. The second act reveals the overturning of the sentence and Lindy's moving forward with her life. The fickle media and public who at first were firmly against the Chamberlains (and then later rallied behind them) are compared to a pack of singing dingos.

The opera falls into a tradition of recent stage works that deal with 'current events' -- in the sense that most of the characters in the opera were still alive at the time of the work's première. American composer John Adams, with his 1985-7 Nixon in China is credited with having begun this trend. In the years that have followed, a number of works by various composers in this form have been created.

Henderson's music is beautifully realized. Eclectic in scoring (by turns lushly romantic, naturalistically active, or even jazzy), the tone is always lyrical and often exceptionally beautiful [listen -- CD 1 track 1, 0:00-1:00].

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Copyright © 15 October 2005 Carson P Cooman, Pittsburgh USA


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