Fire Work (2002)

Project Summary

A music theatre piece by composer Will Todd and libretto by Elizabeth Clarke Melville.
Commissioned by Glyndebourne for Glyndebourne Youth Opera Group and Brighton Youth Orchestra in 2002.
Performed on tour in Scotland and at Brighton Festival. Also part of the Elemental concert performed at Glyndebourne in 2004.


Fire Work begins in the restless world of a group of young college students. Some are quite happy to play at the edges of life with its frivolous distractions. Others have felt flickers of deeper impulses, something sweeter, hints of passion which makes the mundanity of college life that much easier to bear. One in particular though, Miranda, is deeply frustrated by the greyness of life and existence. She senses that there is something more to look forward to but it remains just beyond her reach. In Miranda’s impatient, frustrated quest to ‘touch the sun’, to escape the darkness, to feel the flame, she almost destroys the flickering impulse that already darts within her. The task of nurturing the impulse, walking the road, tending the fire is that of the artist who is a guardian of the flame. In Finn’s silent world, his only task is to catch the sparks, to keep the flame alive, to work the fire. This firework draws the students into is heat, into the heart of the sun, into knowing that they are all keepers of the flame. They all carry elements of the fire within and can, each one of them, touch the sun and soar free.

Creative Team

Composer Will Todd
Librettist Elizabeth Clarke Melville
Music Directors Andrew Sherwood and Jonathan Gill
Director Clare Whistler