The Salisbury Festival is playing host to, amongst other things, the premiere of a new church opera by Jonathan Dove. Entitled The Walk from the Garden it has a libretto by regular Dove collaborator, Alasdair Middleton. The plot, inspired by Paradise Lost, explores Adam and Eve's leaving paradise; with Adam played by Nicholas Sharratt and Eve by Anna Dennis. The Salisbury Festival Chorus and the Salisbury Community Choir provide the choral support, with accompaniment from the Dante String Quartet, David Halls (organ) and Rob Farrar (percussion). The conductor is Howard Moody.
The piece was first mooted as a companion to a proposed performance of Britten's Noyes Fludde but this was dropped leaving Dove's piece on its own, but Dove has acknowledged his debt to Britten.
The premiere takes place on Wednesday May 30 with a second performance on Thursday May 31 in Salisbury Cathedral. It promises to be a striking event and lets hope that we get chance to see the opera in London some time.
The festival has quite an eclectic mix of events with Joan Armatrading, Ex Cathedra performing music in 40 parts (though not in the same concert alas).