• Michael Ball
  • The Bellybag (1992)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the Wilmslow Arts Festival

  • recorder (doubling Irish tin whistle, optional bagpipe chanter and Scottish pibcorn) violin/synthesiser/piano duet (second player also wind chines)/2perc
  • unison mixed-voice group
  • Tr (off stage solo) Baritone, Soprano, dancer, actor
  • 30 min
  • Alan Garner
  • English

Programme Note


A witch’s leather bag sucks all the milk from the village cattle by night. The witch is summoned before the Bishop, but their encounter only makes the Bishop humbler and
wiser. Alan Garner based his libretto on a medieval fragment and, in the tradition of much of his work, it combines scholarship with the rural wit of his lineage that includes many generations of craftsmen in the Alderley district.