Skip to main content

"For King and Country"

A concert originally performed in 2018 in regional South Australia now comes to your screens this Anzac day in isolation.

Named after the patriotic wartime anthem by Ivor Novello, Keep the Home Fires Burning was originally staged by State Opera in 2018 to mark the centenary of Armistice.

The concert tour was reminiscent of the famed Red Cross Galas that played across the Commonwealth and North America to raise funds for the war effort. Comprising opera favourites and numerous popular hits of the era, State Opera’s tribute to the music and the indomitable spirit of the Great War was a hit with audiences in Adelaide and around SA.

When the global pandemic of 2020 saw mass gatherings abolished, venues closed, and cities go into lockdown, the comparisons to wartime were easy to make. Then people took to social media and their balconies to maintain connections with the rest of the world, and it seemed like the never-say-die spirit of a century ago may have been reborn.

State Opera found itself unable to stage major productions but thanks to technology, our artists can now be beamed into living rooms around the world, not only giving jobs to artists and technicians, but also providing tangible wellbeing and connection for those in isolation.

Thanks to Mosaic’s Ghost Light Bunker (a temporary purpose built broadcast space), State Opera will give a very special socially-distanced-concert-performance this ANZAC Day.

State Opera sings “for King and for Country”: featuring hit songs of the early 20th Century and the wartime anthems that swelled a nation’s pride, plus a smattering of Gilbert and Sullivan.


Artists: Bethany Hill, Charlotte Kelso, Mark Oates, Andrew Crispe, and Gerry Masi.

Repertoire includes: Danny BoyKeep the Home Fires BurningFloral DanceMacushlaOh! What a Lovely War and countless other songs from the trenches and the music hall.