Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

A Pop Orchestral Masterpiece With Karen Jacobsen

Marking a moment in history, the upcoming performance of the Misogyny Opus at the MECC later this month is a world premiere of an important pop orchestral piece, written and delivered by local musician Karen Jacobsen.

It was August 2021, when Karen was watching Ms Represnted on television and inspiration hit her “like a bolt from the blue”.

The show was hosted by Annabel Crabb and had been detailing the history of Australian women in politics.

When Julia Gillard’s famous Misogyny Speech was recounted, the words deeply impacted Karen, and she found herself racing to the computer.

“There was an urgency in what I was doing,” said Karen.

“I started to set the speech to music word for word – I put my hands to the keyboard and the music was all there.”

“Over 10 years has passed since the iconic speech by the 27th Prime Minister of Australia and as predicted by those attending parliament that day, history was made.

“Julia Gillard’s justifiable anger at the shocking misogyny she had experienced during her leadership, exploded into a speech which has survived the test of time.”

When she started writing the orchestral piece two years ago, Karen already knew that the project was bigger than her and had the potential to start conversations all over the world.

Engaging with famous and inspiring women right across Australia, Karen put faces to the passionate words within the music by filming a music video.

The result was an impressively powerful visual that heightened the important message she was driven to deliver.

“Casual sexism is a constant,” said Karen.

“Until every woman is safe in their own home, workplace and walking down the street, we do not have equality.”

Karen, who is also known as the voice of Siri, was born and raised in Mackay.

She moved to America to launch her music career and spent many years successfully performing in the New York music scene.

At the onset of COVID, Karen moved back to the region with her husband and their teenage son.

Since then, she has been dedicating herself to furthering the local cultural offering.

“To have the opportunity to do a world premiere of an original orchestral work is a big moment for the arts in Mackay and shows how much the local arts and culture seen has grown,” she said.

“The audience will experience the entire speech for an hour-long performance.”

The Premiere of the Misogyny Opus will take place at the MECC on the April 28 and 29.

The pop orchestral masterpiece is 55 minutes, split into 18 sections.

Karen’s stunning vocals will be accompanied by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in this ground-breaking performance that is expected to create conversations all over the world.

“Let’s get behind this momentous occasion,” said Karen.

“Share the message of the importance of equality, while experiencing an exceptional original musical work in concert.”

WHAT: The Misogyny Opus


WHEN: April 28-29

Karen Jacobsen will perform her pop orchestral masterpiece at the MECC

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