About In Parenthesis


As we celebrate 70 years of WNO it is time to look forward. What better way to do this than with a world première of a major new opera? In Parenthesis is young British composer Iain Bell’s adaptation of the epic poem by poet, writer and artist David Jones. In Parenthesis is commissioned by the Nicholas John Trust with 14-18 NOW, the UK cultural programme to commemorate World War I.

Private John Ball and his comrades in the Royal Welch Fusiliers are posted to the Somme. In Mametz Wood they enter a strange realm – outside of time, dream-like but deadly. Rather than simply reporting the horrors of the Somme, In Parenthesis dares to offer hope. Even here amongst the destruction, a fragile flowering of regeneration and re-birth can be found. Bell’s beautiful score combines traditional Welsh song with moments of other-worldliness, terror, humour and transcendence. David Pountney’s period production is both an evocation and a commemoration of the events of the Somme.

Opera is a living, breathing art form. But for it to keep on growing and evolving, we need you to join us for what we believe is an important major new work.

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