Prime Minister’s Question becomes an oratorio

Prime Minister’s Question becomes an oratorio


norman lebrecht

March 16, 2014

The former Australian PM Julia Gillard will go down in history for two reasons – as a combative politician who led her party into the wilderness and as an orator who delivered the finest anti-sexism rant ever heard in a democratic parliament. Her speech has now been set to music by Rob Davidson and performed by The Australian Voices, director Gordon Hamilton.


julia gillard





  • RKBB says:

    Can’t wait for the Cameron ‘We’re all in this together’ Quartet ….!

    • John Hames says:

      This has rather stolen my thunder, as I’m currently putting the finishing touches to my “Hard-Working Families Fantasia”.

  • Olaugh Turchev says:

    She’ll go down in history as a carbon tax liar.

  • Jeffrey E. Salzberg says:

    Brilliant. Of course, Churchill had an entire band named after one of his speeches.

  • RW2013 says:

    So little happens in Australia, so that when it does, it should be set to music.

    Elena Kats-Chernin’s Symphonia Eluvium about floods, and Brett Dean’s Fire Music about bush fires

    spring to mind.

  • Gary Carpenter says:

    Scarpia sings that at the end of Tosca: Act 1.

  • Marguerite Foxon says:

    Send a copy to Abbott, I say!

  • Mikey says:

    I REALLY hope this piece of music is parody?

    This woman is quite the hypocrite. Rises up in anger against misogyny and sexism, yet allows her homophobic biblical beliefs to direct her political actions?

    Gillard is the last person in the civilized world who should be honoured with a cantata (or whatever the piece is supposed to be) based on her words.

  • Luke says:

    Actually Olaugh Turchev, she’ll go down in history as being the Prime Minister who gave us the NDIS, who put health before profits and stared down the tobacco industry, who implemented much needed reforms in Education & who forced the industries who are polluting Australia to clean up their act by placing a price on carbon…a successful and effective strategy that has been implemented in many other industrialised nations. How sad that all you can see is LiEberal party untruths.

  • Thanks for mentioning us Norman. It has been a real pleasure working on this piece, and it’s the first in a series of Prime Minister speeches set to music in this manner – will include Menzies, Gough Whitlam’s “Well may we say”, Keating’s Redfern Speech. The apology to the Stolen Generations by Kevin Rudd has also been approached by TAV in my composition “We apologise”.

  • V.Lind says:

    I don’t care what happens as long as she is not performing it. Whatever her virtues or vices, the woman has a voice that could clear a city block.

  • Kay Stevenson says:

    I agree with Luke: regardless of how she came to power, she was the subject of the most vile orchestrated campaign against any individual I have ever seen. And unfortunately in the State Capital where I live there is only one newspaper owned by a very prominent man we all know and the public – and apparently you -were fed opinion and propaganda rather than fact. It was shameful

  • J. Valentín Centenero says:

    Maybe you haven’t seen van Gaal… great ear that of the pianist. Enjoy.

    • This one’s great! There’s quite a collection of us making music from the melody of speech, ever since somebody decided to play the talking drum in West Africa. Thanks Janacek, Hermeto Pascoal, Scott Johnson, Steve Reich, Sherre Delys and many others.