Opera Queensland Straight from the Strait A Torres Strait Island musical 

28 - 31 Aug 2024
Playhouse, QPAC
2 hours 20 minutes
(including interval, subject to change without notice)
$90 *
* A transaction fee of $7.20 applies.

Available Discounts

Concession, Student, Child, Groups

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that content on this page may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.


On May 8 1968, a group of remarkable Torres Strait Island workers on the vast expanse of the Mount Newman railway construction project shattered world records as they laid down an astonishing 7km of track in a single day, an unparalleled feat that still stands unchallenged. At the heart of their extraordinary achievement is the power of song – songs that are unique to Australia, that tell a passionate and inspiring story. 

Straight from the Strait pays homage to the extraordinary stories of these Torres Strait Island men and women who ventured far from their homes in pursuit of employment on the mainland. Amid the gruelling labour, they discovered a sense of camaraderie that transcended boundaries. Their sweat and toil laid the foundation for Australia's emergence as an industrial nation, a legacy now interwoven within the nation's identity. 

This production reverberates with the power of song, a harmonious fusion of traditional Torres Strait music and contemporary melodies. Through the vibrant ancestral languages like Meriam Mir, Kala Lagaw Ya and Torres Strait Creole combined with English language and the backbeat of a contemporary band, it tells a tale that pulses with passion and inspiration. 

Developed through collaboration and consultation with the Yumpla Nerkep Foundation and Torres Strait Islander artists, Elders, and communities, this project is led by a team of First Nations creatives, performers, musicians, and cultural advisors.  

Presented by Opera Queensland, Yumpla Nerkep Foundation, QPAC, in association with Brisbane Festival.

Cultural Advisors Ruth Ghee, Tony Ghee (Eastern Islands), George Bagiri, Norah Bagiri (Western & Central Islands). 

This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body, and the Torres Strait Regional Authority. 

We acknowledge the First Peoples of the lands on which we create and the islands and other places from which the stories in this project originate. We pay our respects to their ancestors and Elders and celebrate our shared future. We also acknowledge the many Torres Strait Island families and artists who have generously contributed to this project.

Special Events

Pre-Performance Talks

  • Thu 29 Aug 2024, 6:00 PM
  • Fri 30 Aug 2024, 6:00 PM
  • Sat 31 Aug 2024, 12:30 PM

Free performance talk will commence 1 hour before each performance noted on the 29, 30 and 31 August, and will last approximately 25 minutes. The talk will take place inside the Playhouse Lounge.


To book the below accessibility enhanced performances please call QTIX Group Sales: (07) 3840 7466 or email groups@qtix.com.au.

Audio Described

  • Sat 31 Aug 2024, 1:30 PM

Trained Audio Describers provide a commentary with concise descriptions of actions, expressions and gestures to compliment the theatre experience for patrons who are blind or have low vision. Description is relayed via a discreet headset linked to the infrared audio system.

Auslan Interpreted

  • Fri 30 Aug 2024, 7:00 PM

Selected performances are professionally signed by Auslan interpreters.


  • Writer/Co-Librettist Norah Bagiri
  • Composer/Co-Librettist Rubina Kimiia
  • Director Nadine McDonald-Dowd
  • Choreographer Rita Pryce
  • Assistant Choreographer Cleopatra Pryce
  • Set Design Kevin O’Brien
  • Costume & Assistant Set Designer Zoe Rouse
  • Cultural Advisors Ruth Ghee, Tony Ghee (Eastern Islands), George Bagiri, Norah Bagiri (Western & Central Islands)


  • Cleopatra Pryce
  • Edward Lampton
  • Georgia Corowa
  • Gertrude Benjamin
  • Ghenoa Gela
  • Harold Pascoe
  • Jalen Sutcliffe
  • Joseph Tapau
  • Kani Puru
  • Marcus Corowa
  • Maurice Sailor
  • Paul Isakara Williams
  • Vaughan Wapau
  • Zane Lemusu
  • Zeek Power

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