A night of story and song dedicated to the Dja Dja Wurrung people of central Victoria will be a special feature of the Castlemaine State Festival next month.
‘Ulumbarra’ will feature some of Australia’s best Indigenous performers, including actor Uncle Jack Charles and singers Kutcha Edwards, Emma Donovan, Benny Walker, Jida Gulpilil, Ilana Atkinson, James Henry and Tjimba Possum-Burns.
Melbourne band My Friend the Chocolate Cake’s Helen Mountfort and Hope Csutoros, as well as drummer David Folley, will perform in the band.
‘Ulumbarra’ was originally commissioned for the opening of the Ulumbarra Theatre in Bendigo. This will be its first performance outside the theatre.
The musical concert covers topics from Aboriginal astronomy, the experience of the Gold Rush and missions, the repatriation of Aboriginal remains, Dreamtime stories and significant landscapes of the Dja Dja Wurrung clan.
Members of the Dja Dja Wurrung community will perform songs by ARIA-award winning songwriters in the Singing from Country choir later in the festival program.
The Castlemaine State Festival at Castlemaine, a city 120km north-west of Melbourne, runs from March 17-26.
It will open with an evening of classical music performed by Fijian-born Australian violinist Wilma Smith, accompanied by four of Australia’s most sought-after chamber musicians from the Australian National Academy of Music.
Jazz band The Skellingtons will kick off the opening night party at the Theatre Royal, the official Festival Club.
* Ulumbarra will be performed at the Castlemaine Town Hall, 25 Lyttleton St, Castlemaine on March 18 at 8pm. Tickets are $40. The Singing from Country choir will perform at the Castlemaine Presbyterian Church on March 22 at 6pm. Tickets are $33. For full festival program and ticket information, visit castlemainefestival.com.au.