Sydney Chamber Opera is set to present a bold new one-woman show, Giya Kancheli’s Exil, for its final production in 2013. Directed by Adena Jacobs, the production will star acclaimed New York-based soprano Jane Sheldon.

The work tells the story of a lonely woman who, through the weaving together of Biblical psalms with the post-Holocaust poetry of Hans Sahl and Paul Celan, becomes a heart-rending depiction of loss as her life is torn down around her.

Exil’s central question offers tremendous dramatic possibilities: just how disorienting is the state of being removed from everything that is familiar and known?” said Sheldon. “To put this expansive, frightening world on stage is a real challenge and a real thrill.”

“When I heard Exil for the first time, I was awestruck, and incredibly moved by the possibility of staging it,” Director Jacobs said. “It is a very exciting opportunity to collaborate with Sydney Chamber Opera and Jane Sheldon on this extraordinary work.”

Written in 1994 by contemporary Georgian composer Giya Kancheli, Exil was inspired by Kancheli’s experience of having to flee Georgia due to violent revolts against the oppressive Soviet regime.

Exil is provocative and fraught with difficult resonances,” said Jack Symonds, conductor of the production. “We are trying to...