The word 'esperance' is not only a reassuring Old English sentiment of hope but also the name of an isolated town on the south coast of Western Australia. While not exactly in the middle of nowhere, this small outpost is certainly on the edge of it. The incredible optimism of the European settlers who arrived at one of the most remote parts of this vast continent and called it 'Hope' speaks of some of the most admirable qualities in Australia's recent heritage: the daring to attempt the improbable, and the tenacity to make it work.
'Esperance' was commissioned by the National Australia Day Council for Australia Day, January 26, 1995. It was first performed on this day by the Australian Chamber Orchestra at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia.