Émilie & Voltaire - A Cinematic Opera

Émilie & Voltaire - The Worlds First Original Cinematic Opera  

Émilie has class, the heart of Voltaire and a haven far from scandal, but will she lose it all by claiming her place in science?

In November 2020, we filmed the 20-minute proof of concept film for Émilie & Voltaire at Lindesay House, Darling Point in Sydney. It premiered at the Puccini Chamber Opera Festival in Lucca, Italy on May 15th 2021. The film was a winner at the Paris Film Festival, and composer Nicholas Gentile was nominated for Best Composer at the Cannes Short Film Festival (France) for his sweeping score.


From day one, the creators of Émilie & Voltaire (Nicholas Gentile & Cheryl Sawyer) knew that they wanted to make opera accessible to everyone, especially young people who aren't inclined or cannot afford to go to the opera. The way to reach this demographic was clear - Creating the world's first cinematic opera!

We are proud to announce that the primary sponsor of our concept film was Opera Australia, with the added help of the City of Melbourne, Waterloo Studios, Herbie's Spices, Compass Global Financial Markets and Filmsticks (UK). 

Can you help our young, diverse team embark on the next stage of development by adding your name to this wonderful list of contributors?


With the success of the proof-of-concept film, we now have our eyes set on our biggest goal. Turning Émilie & Voltaire into a feature film, shot entirely on location at the Chateau de Cirey, France, where Émilie & Voltaire lived and worked together.

Opera Australia has committed to developing the feature film for Émilie & Voltaire, supporting the costs of a writer's room and workshop of the full score. We also hope to succeed in our Screen Australia application which would cover the costs of the illustrated storyboard, A-Z feature budget, finance plan, distribution report and more.


Our team are looking for support to enable our core production team (Writers, Producer and Director) to travel to the Chateau de Cirey and various locations in Paris to conduct comprehensive site recces. The recces are a pre-filming visit to a location to determine its suitability for shooting, including access to necessary facilities and assessment of any potential lighting or sound issues. Therefore, it is crucial for the pre-production stage that our core team can travel to France and complete this work.

During this trip, the team would establish a relationship with the Director of Photography (DOP) and conduct several meetings with production houses and the Opéra national de Paris. All meetings and recces would take place over two weeks.


We are looking to raise $27,500!!

Below is a breakdown of the costs associated with the trip:

Crew Fees: $9,600 ($1,200 per week, per crew member - as per union rate)
Return Airfares: $12,000 (4 return airfares)
Car Hire & Transport: $900
Accommodation: $5,000


As a thank you for any contribution, we will email you a special Vimeo link and password, giving you access to our 20-minute concept film of Émilie & Voltaire, showing you a taste of what's to come in our feature film.


Upon completing this final stage of development, we will be able to embark on the production of the feature film of Émilie & Voltaire.

Your contribution to this crucial stage of development takes us one step further towards bringing Émilie & Voltaire's story to life through new media avenues to make opera accessible to everyone.


Check out our official music video for Un Jour, J'aurai Le Courage, sung by Jessica Westcott.

Watch Julie Lea Goodwin (our Émilie du Chatalet in the concept film) sing Un Jour, J'aurai Le Courage live at the Qudos Bank Arena, accompanied by composer Nicholas Gentile.

Émilie & Voltaire on Sky News

Émilie & Voltaire (2021 Concept Film) Behind The Scenes Featurette

For more information & to follow our journey:


Donations (28)

  • Anonymous
    • $10 
    • 1 yr
  • Anonymous
    • $5 
    • 1 yr
  • David Field
    • $1,000 
    • 3 yrs


Nicholas Gentile
Mascot NSW

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