J E N N A   R O B E R T S O N
Soprano | Artist | Creative Producer

Spirit Orphan


Spirit Orphan is an opera and dance work responding to bushfire and evacuations in the Gold Coast Hinterland in 2019. Beyond experience of danger and displacement, Spirit Orphan is the story of Scottish migrant and Gold Coast Hinterland resident Jenna Robertson’s recovery from bushfire. Displacement questions connection to place and provokes a deep exploration of identity through her Scottish ancestors, migrant experience and Australia’s colonisation history leading to a healing understanding that we are not alone in this world.


A site-responsive and community-engaged work for solo soprano, chamber ensemble and chorus, Spirit Orphan is an uplifting, moving work that invites questions about our origins, decolonisation and connection to place.

Spirit Orphan Collaborators

  • Corrina Bonshek, Composer


  • Lower Beechmont and Beechmont community

  • Aunty Dr Mary Graham, Kombumerri Elder

  • Lesley Aitchison, family ancestry research


Research & Development, Generate GC, Jan-August 2020

The concept for Spirit Orphan was created as part of Jenna's place as a Generate GC Artist. The Generate GC Artist Labs in 2019 were instrumental in her professional development enabling her to expand her practice into making new work.


Generate GC is a bespoke, competitive program for exceptional artists to develop new, site-specific works.  Generate GC is a City of Gold Coast initiative delivered in partnership with the internationally acclaimed Salamanca Arts Centre program Situate - Art in Festivals.   R&D period was supported by Salamanca Arts Centre and City of Gold Coast.

R&D Mentors through Generate GC:

  • Emma Porteus - Artistic Director, Salamanca Arts Centre & Situate - Art in Festivals (Generate GC)

  • Liesel Zink - Choreography & Dramaturgy

  • Sam Creyton - Arts & Culture, City of Gold Coast

  • Anna Young - Producer, Generate GC

First Stage Development - Music Development #1, August 2020

  • Jenna Robertson - Lead Artist and Performer

  • Corrina Bonshek - Composer

  • Adrian Head - Conductor

  • Writer - Alexandra Dunn

  • Singers - Alison Paris, Talia Garrett-Benson, Regan Flor, Jacque Prior

  • Filmmaker - Salvador Cantellano

  • Audio Engineer - Geoff McGahan

First Stage Development including residency with Corrina Bonshek was made possible by the Australian Government through Arts Queensland.

To go back to Projects page click here.

© 2020 Jenna Robertson

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