The Ghost Sonata maintains a surrealistic, fantastical mood throughout. In this unsettling world created by Strindberg, nothing is as it seems. Inspired by the chamber music of composers like Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven, the play echoes much of the music, with its atmosphere of recurring themes rather than following a linear plot of storytelling.
Why Watch Ghost Sonata
August Strindberg is considered one of Sweden’s finest dramatists and among the most important contributors to modern theatre. His life was much like an open book of which public humiliations, deep psychological and spiritual turmoil and his love-hate relationship with women who scarred his mind provoked him to produce some of his best writing. The Ghost Sonata remains an innovative play for its unique dialogue, staging, and subject matter which involves a strange, avant-garde style and particularly a grim view of the world. Staged in the quirky surroundings of Opera Australia’s scenery workshop and set in a house haunted by sins and secrets, the story reveals a bleak reality hidden amidst a facade of twisted lies. Performed by some of the country’s finest singers, this play is set to shock audiences as they give in to this sombre and chilling tale.
The Ghost Sonata is about two men who enter a mysterious house inhabited by a strange family. Bound together by common guilt and condemned to suffer for their sins, old man Hummel on a wheelchair and student Arkenholz are surrounded by a world that is full of death and decay. The play portrays a situation that is based on illusions and deceptions and under the shadow of respectability lies corruption which is all linked to guilt and betrayals. Hummel being the center of all miseries drags the innocent and idealistic Arkenholz into his hell, in order to exact revenge from his neighbor, the Colonel.
Left with the fragments of distorted lives around him, Arkenholz realizes that the mortal world is flawed and only death offers liberation. The Ghost Sonata does not take place in the real world, or at least not in an atmosphere that oozes reality. The characters move, act, and speak as though they are part of a dream (or a nightmare). While one sees the future, the other embodies tragedies of the past. Presented in three brief intermission-less scenes, this ia journey of recurring themes rather than one straight story heading in a single direction.
Existentialists | Fans of August Strindberg
“One is meant to approach the play as if it were a piece of music and not as a narrative to be unfolded.” - NY Times
Know Before You Go
- Cameras and other recording devices are prohibited in the venue's auditorium. Mobile telephones, pagers and so forth must be turned off before entry into the venue’s auditorium.
- Opera Australia reserves the right to inspect bags of patrons who enter or exit the venue regardless of size.
Performances may be unsuitable for children under eight years of age. All patrons, irrespective of age, must hold a valid ticket. Persons aged under 16 years must be accompanied by a ticketed adult.
Opera Australia Scenery Workshop, The Opera Center, Dawson Street, Surry Hills.
Audio described performances
Strictly prohibited. Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian food options will be available at the venue.
Ghost Sonata is staged in a non-conventional theatre space and we recommend to bring along warm clothing.
Flexible Cancellation Policy
You may cancel up to 48 hours in advance for groups lesser than 8.
You will receive an email confirmation along with your mobile voucher shortly. Your tickets will be available at onsite Box Office about one hour before the performance. You will need to display a photo ID to collect your tickets.
We would recommend reaching the Theatre at least 30 minutes prior to you show.