Watch In Parenthesis by Iain Bell on The Opera Platform
29th June 2016
In Parenthesis is an adaptation of the 1937 epic poem by Welsh writer David Jones with a libretto crafted by David Antrobus and Emma Jenkins. The narrative follows Private John Ball and his comrades in the Royal Welch Fusiliers from their embarkation from England to their experiences in the Battle of the Somme. In the nearby Mametz Wood, seven months after they leave home, they enter a strange realm – outside of time, dream-like but deadly. However, rather than simply reporting the horrors of the Somme, In Parenthesis offers some semblance of hope.
Bell’s score combines traditional Welsh song with moments of other-worldliness, terror, humour and transcendence. The opera boasts a striking period production by David Pountney (director), Robert Innes Hopkins (set) and Malcolm Rippeth (lighting design).
The Welsh National Opera's production of In Parenthesis will be available on demand here from 20:00 CET July 1.
Andrew Bidlack: Private John Ball
Peter Coleman-Wright: Bard of Brittannia, HQ Officer
Alexandra Deshorties: Bard of Germania, Alice the Barmaid, Queen of the Woods
George Humphreys: Lieutenant Jenkins
Marcus Farnsworth: Lance Corporal Lewis
Mark Le Brocq: Sergeant Snell
Donald Maxwell: Dai Greatcoat
Graham Clark: The Marne Sergeant
Music director: Carlo Rizzi
Composer: Iain Bell
Sets: Robert Innes Hopkins
Libretto: David Antrobus, Emma Jenkins
Lighting: Malcolm Rippeth
Director: David Pountney
TV production: Rondo Media
About Iain Bell
Born in London, Iain Bell is best known for his vocal music (opera and song) and has developed a close artistic relationship with Diana Damrau, for whom he has written various works including Daughters of Britannia and The Hidden Place as well as the opera A Harlot’s Progress (2013, Theater an der Wien). Other pieces include the opera A Christmas Carol (2014, Houston Grand Opera, starring Jay Hunter Morris and directed by Simon Callow), the orchestral song cycle A Litany in Time of Plague and the chamber song cycles Cradle Suite, Day Turned into Night, The Undying Splendour and These Motley Fools. His works have been performed at venues including Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall and the Munich Opera Festival.