Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Liberty has a price - W11 Opera in new Suffragette opera from Russell Hepplewhite & Helen Eastman

The tragic aftermath of Emily Wilding Davison's protest at the Derby, Epsom in 1913
The tragic aftermath of Emily Wilding Davison's protest at the Derby, Epsom in 1913
Having written a number of operas for young people for English Touring Opera, composer Russell Hepplewhite is now writing a new piece to be performed by young people themselves.  Hepplewhite is joining with librettist Helen Eastman to write a new piece for W11 Opera for Young People. The Price  will be premiered at POSK Theatre in Hammersmith on 10 and 11 December 2016.  

The Price is a political opera, it asks the question 'What price liberty?' and aims to bring politics home by making it personal. The piece deals with the Suffragettes and tells the story of the Pankhurst family and the events which led up to Derby Day 1913 when Emily Wilding Davison died after stepping in front of the King's horse.

The composer Russell Hepplewhite has cropped up on the blog a number of times, as the composer of operas for young people written for English Touring Opera. His opera Laika the Spacedog, written with librettist Tim Yelland and premiered by English Touring Opera in 2013, won the Armel Opera Festival in 2013.

For over 45 years W11 Opera has been providing opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to be involved in opera. And not only does the company provide excitement, discovery, achievement and new skills for young people, but it is an invaluable showcase for composers. Previous composers to have been commissioned by the company include George Fenton, Julian Philips, Phil Porter, Stuart Hancock, Julian Grant, John Barber and Cecilia MacDowell.

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