• Stephen McNeff
  • The Burning Boy (2017)
    (A Miracle Play for Music Theatre)

  • Peters Edition Limited (World)
  • 4S,T,bbar + fch(SA); 1(pic).0.0(bcl)+bb-cl.0/f-hn/perc/hp/vn.db
  • fch
  • Soprano, Soprano, Soprano, Soprano, Tenor, Bass Baritone
  • 1 hr 10 min
  • Charles Causley
  • English

Programme Note

The parts of Elisha, Gehazi, the Farmer and the Farmer's wife (The Woman of Shunem) require professional level singers. The 1st Harvester part is similarly professional level. The second and third Harvesters can be sung by young women, teenage voices or trebles. The chorus is written for uppver voices, either girls, women or trebles (or mixed), and where divided and may be distributed ad lib by the chorus teacher. The instrumental ensemble is written for professionals.

The Burning Boy can be performed fully or semi-staged. Charles Causley, the librettist (who wrote this libretto for me in 1983) had in mind a church opera in the miracle play tradition, but performance in church is not essential. My aim as composer was to create a work that involved the participation of non-professionals and the community alongside young and fully professional forces.
Stephen McNeff

Commissioned by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

First performance at Launceston Town Hall, Cornwall on 10tz November 2017 and at the Guildhall, St Ives, Cornwall on 11th November 2017 by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra's contemporary ensemble, Kokoro, conducted by Mark Forkgen.

The stage director was Richard Willliams. The opera was performed in association with Trinity Lahan Conservatoire of Music and Dance as part of the BSO's Side by Side initiative.