Ancestor in the Chalk (2003)

Project Summary

A music theatre piece by composer Orlando Gough and libretto by John Agard and Commissioned by Glyndebourne for Glyndebourne Youth Opera Group and Brighton Youth Orchestra.
Performed on tour in Spain and at Brighton Festival. Also formed part of the Elemental concert at Glyndebourne in 2004.


Ancestor in the Chalk follows a group of young people to the Long Man of Wilmington, a giant chalk figure on Windover Hill. During this journey, switching roles from vandals to tourists to archaeologists, they experience an enigmatic encounter with this ancient figure. This ten minutes slice of experience turns out to be more ‘epic’ than anticipated.

Creative Team

Composer Orlando Gough
Librettist John Agard
Conductors Ian McCrae and Andrew Sherwood
Artistic Director Clare Whistler
Designer Victoria Rance