Set during World War II, Pincher Martin, a new opera by Oliver Rudland, based on the novel by William Golding, is an existential re-telling of the 'Don Giovanni' fable. On a lonely islet in the middle of the Atlantic, a stranded naval officer is forced to re-live events from his ruthlessly selfish past. Through his memories and hallucinations, we learn of the terrifying actions which led him to this fateful pass. Using specially-filmed and original archival footage, the opera's innovative cinematic backdrop utterly immerses the audience in Pincher Martin's nightmarish world.
Oliver Rudland, one of the foremost composers of his generation, is known particularly for his operas. Born in West Yorkshire in 1983, he studied first as a Foundation Scholar at London's Royal College of Music, and then at Cambridge University, where he currently teaches.
His violin sonata, Velvet Storm, was commissioned by Amelia Jones for the Cheltenham International Music Festival in 2004. The Nightingale and the Rose, Rudland's first opera, received its premiere at the Royal College of Music, and was then staged at the Carriageworks Theatre for four nights by Leeds Youth Opera in July 2008. Choral works have been performed by The Pinnacle Ensemble, Gonville and Caius College Chapel Choir, and the Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir.
Rudland's works have begun to attract international attention. His song-cycle for baritone and piano quintet, Yorkshire Songs, and Blessing, a work for marimba sextet, have been warmly received in the United States.
As a producer, Rudland has been steadily gaining a reputation for organising highly professional performances. He staged a production of his own children's opera, The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark, based on the classic story by Jill Tomlinson, which received very positive reviews from audiences and critics alike.
At the first performance of Rudland's new opera, Pincher Martin, 7pm on 24 July 2014 at the Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music, London UK, there will be an introductory talk by Roger Scruton, and there are additional performances, both at the same time and venue, on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 July 2014.
Posted: 13 July 2014
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