Community-focused opera at North East Cathedrals
Posted: 26 May 2015
Young people from across County Durham will join local singers and
professional musicians in a celebration through words and song of the 800thanniversary of Magna Carta in Middlesbrough cathedral.
The Great Charter opera took place in Durham Cathedral on Saturday 13 June and will be at at Middlesbrough Cathedral on
Saturday 20 June at 7.30 pm. You can buy tickets through
the Gala Theatre, Durham Box Office on 03000 266 600, or www.galadurham.co.uk
The main themes of equality before the law, democracy, and freedom have been
woven together by composer Timothy Craig Harrison and librettist Paul Hodgson
to create The Great Charter, an opera
spread across two periods in time: that of King John and a futuristic period.
Librettist Paul Hodgson explained: “Any tale of oppression and injustice
remains relevant for all time and Timothy and I felt that a double narrative
would increase the immediacy of the issues being put on stage.
The Great Charter, is not just about the Magna Carta and the conflict between
King John and the Barons – there is a parallel futuristic story told in
alternate scenes about a totalitarian state run by the Protector.”
The opera, a community-focused project, will be performed by professional
musicians, the Durham Singers, Durham Cathedral Young Singers, and DCYS VOX:
both choirs formed as part of Durham Cathedral’s music outreach programme. The
choirs will be joined by soloists Deryck Webb (tenor), Clare Tunney and Harriet
Beckham (sopranos), the Choristers of Middlesbrough Cathedral, children from St
Edwards RC, St Augustine's RC, and St Bernadette's RC Primary Schools in
Middlesbrough and pupils from Durham Johnston School, Durham.