Trigger: This review contains discussion of rape and violence against women.

There has never been a more important time for The Rape of Lucretia.

I feel queasy taking my seat in the Theatre Royal to watch this 1946 Benjamin Britten opera, here presented as part of Tasmania’s hellish Dark Mofo. It’s a collaboration between the Victorian Opera and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra; but was first performedby the Sydney Chamber Opera under its Artistic Director Jack Symonds with VO for Carriageworks last year. Of his staging, Symonds has previously said: “There was little to be gained by asking the audience to watch something graphic around this subject matter… you suddenly realise that the way you normally see everything is deeply gendered”.

Rape of Lucretia The Rape of Lucretiaby Victorian Opera and Sydney Chamber Opera at Carriageworks. Photograph © Zan Wimberley

This was alwaysgoing to be a show worthy of deeper conversation. It simply cannot be ignored that this winter’s production is performed in the wake of a tragic and resonant death – the horrific rape and murderof young Australian woman Eurydice Dixon. This loss of life has ignited a national conversation about...