Behrouz Boochani - Live at the Bowl

No Friend but the Mountains: A Symphonic Song Cycle

Sunday 21 March 2021, 5.00pm

Sidney Myer Music Bowl

Presented by Zelman Symphony, Arts Centre Melbourne and The Wheeler Centre

World Premiere

Thumbed on a phone, smuggled out in thousands of text messages. The near impossibility of its existence. On Nauru and Manus Island, they live in a zoo of cruelty.

No Friend but the Mountains, Behrouz Boochani's multi-award winning book which chronicles the perilous journeys of asylum seekers and their forced detention on Manus Island, is the inspiration for this Symphonic Song Cycle by prolific Australian composer, Luke Styles.

Boochani, a Kurdish-Iranian journalist, writer and film-maker, penned his book in secret in Farsi on a mobile phone as a series of hundreds of text messages. He opened up the hidden world of detention, shone a light on the conditions endured by detainees on Manus and exposed a brutal system ostensibly designed to deter other asylum seekers while breaking those caught in it.

To open the event, Behrouz Boochani will appear in conversation via video reflecting on this new adaptation of his story.


Rick Prakhoff – conductor

Adrian Tamburini – bass-baritone

Melbourne Bach Choir

Wilma Smith – guest concertmaster

Susan Pierotti – concertmaster

Creative Team

Luke Styles – composer

Behrouz Boochani – librettist

Omid Tofighian – translator and collaborator


Behrouz Boochani – Video Interview with Rafael Epstein

Luke Styles – No Friend but the Mountains: A Symphonic Song Cycle


Lawn decks seating up to 6 people are now generously discounted. Group bookings only.

Buy online or call Ticketek 132849

Buy Tickets


Sidney Myer Music Bowl
Kings Domain Gardens, Linlithgow Ave, Melbourne VIC 3000
Venue opens at 3.30pm