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The Buckley Opera Project

Unique community historical music theatre event about convict William Buckley

Project details

Suggested by: Antony

Project partner: Rosebud Astral Theatre Society Inc.




Less than 50 votes received

This project did not receive enough votes to be successful.

'Buckley' is a new opera on a local historical topic written by local residents, baritone Antony Ransome (music) and historian Richard Cotter (text). It relays the true story of how the convict William Buckley escaped from the 1803 Collins Settlement in Sorrento, ultimately living with Indigenous people for 32 years. Students, music lovers, history buffs and others can attend reasonably-priced performances and along the way join in history, art or music projects (including mentoring, live music at the settlement, free rehearsals, active participation in the production), which will enhance their knowledge of local history and opera as a genre.

The opera is a collaboration between the Rosebud Astral Theatre Society, active in participatory community theatre for many years, and the newly-formed Buckley Opera Project. Exciting is the emphasis on a mingling of cultures and an opportunity for Indigenous performers to participate alongside singers representing the convicts and their gaolers. It will probably be the first time a locally-composed opera is performed on the southern Mornington Peninsula; its local narrative is inspired by actual historical events. Our purpose is to raise historical awareness of the story and its moral and social importance. Buckley is a role model for calm endurance.

Project details

Suggested by: Antony

Project partner: Rosebud Astral Theatre Society Inc.




Less than 50 votes received

This project did not receive enough votes to be successful.


Comments closed


17 Sep 2018

I hope this opera goes ahead: Victorians deserve to know more about Buckley's incredible journey starting with the first settlement.

Ruth Homes

16 Sep 2018

This is an exciting project and it will be wonderful to see this opera, which celebrates an extraordinary episode in our history, performed.

June & Clarry

13 Sep 2018

This is an important project which will bring to life the eventful history of escaped convict William Buckley. It deserves our full support to help the dedicated people involved.

12 Sep 2018

Sounds like a wonderful initiative hope it all goes well

88 Franklin Road Portsea VIC

11 Sep 2018

A wonderful cause for opera lovers like my wife and I.


09 Sep 2018

A really interesting Southern Peninsula historical episode set to music.


07 Sep 2018

The composer of this opera is world renowned, and his generous sharing of this culturally and historic story with the local community should be appreciated.


06 Sep 2018

Good to see the involvement of local talent.


04 Sep 2018

A unique representation of a time in our history


31 Aug 2018

This unique project is timely, topical to the Mornington Pensinsla and richly deserves to be supported by PickMyProject


30 Aug 2018

Looking forward to this production going ahead


30 Aug 2018

The William Buckley story is fascinating, and I am sure that this production will be very professional.

Cal and Mike

29 Aug 2018

Best of luck in getting this important story on to the stage.


28 Aug 2018

Great to have our history celebrated with music.


27 Aug 2018

Look forward to this very worthwhile project going ahead.

26 Aug 2018

An integral part of our history giving recognition to those intrepid "settlers", Buckley himself and also the indigenous people who "adopted" him, and allowed him to become one of their own... a fascinating tale..

22 Aug 2018

Do hope this project is successful. It is arts and culture combined with local history


18 Aug 2018

Long overdue — an amazing story finally on stage that reveals Buckley’s adventures- local history revealed in all its drama


18 Aug 2018

Exciting opportunity to focus on our local history and the amazing story of William Buckley


17 Aug 2018

This project will bring the story of escaped convict, William Buckley to the stage at Rosebud in May 2019. Through an original historical text ( by local historian Richard Cotter) and a new opera score (by local opera singer Antony Ransome) the audience will renew the Buckley tale in a locally produced and professionally presented performance in Rosebud Memorial Hall in May 2019.