Narcissus & Echo – 20th, 23rd & 24th July

A new collaborative opera is busy being developed, with music by me and three other composers, and will be premiered at the end of this month. Opera Viscera, the company co-founded by myself and director Lia Alba, are putting on a brand new opera entitled Narcissus & Echo – to be first performed at OPEN Ealing art gallery in London on the 20th July, then in the great outdoors at Cambridgeshire’s Secret Garden Party Festival on the 23rd and 24th.

The 35-40-minute opera employs six singers (featuring mezzo Janna Sutherland as Narcissus and soprano Sophie Levi as Echo), and is scored for flute, clarinet and string quartet. As music director, I have composed the first and last scenes (around 15 minutes of music in total), and have overseen the composition of three other scenes by fellow University of Manchester graduates Rachel Jackson, Jasmin Rodgman and Hannah Taylor. The music’s all completed now – while there are differing styles between the four composers there are unifying devices and dramatic structures that make the piece feel coherent. I can’t wait to start rehearsing…

In addition to the opera itself, Opera Viscera are putting on a number of events during our rehearsal period at the Ealing gallery. The process itself will be public, so people can come and see the set being built by our design team (that drawing at the top is a production sketch by the wonderful Miranda Keyes), and see some of the rehearsals. There will also be a children’s workshop on the 17th July run by our ensemble leader Sarah Hill, as well as opera screenings on Friday afternoons. The performance on the 20th will feature new music performances by members of the cast and the ensemble (possibly featuring music by one or two of the composers), as well as an exhibition of some of the production materials that have gone into making this unique project. All events will take place at the gallery in Ealing, and all the information can be found (or will be found) on Opera Viscera’s website. More information can of course be sought by using my Contact page, or by emailing our Director Lia Alba.

Opera Viscera - Narcissus & Echo