28 October - 5 December 2022

glass human

A chamber opera premiere in an intimate studio setting

Tour dates

After the performances at Glyndebourne, this production will be on stage at Milton Keynes, Canterbury, Norwich, Liverpool and Brighton.

About the opera

A newly commissioned chamber opera created by composer Samantha Fernando and sound artist and writer Melanie Wilson, explores the experience of loneliness.

Three isolated voices find their way towards each other, charting a journey from emotional and social fragmentation to connection and meaning. Rooted in three contemporary experiences of loneliness – a young woman finding her identity, a refugee searching for stability and an older man living with grief and cognitive decline – the work explores the forces that separate us from each other and the threads we follow to join back together again.

Starring three soloists and members of the Tour Orchestra, this new chamber opera will be performed in the intimate setting of Glyndebourne’s Jerwood Studio. Performances are timed so that you can see glass human ahead of the mainstage opera.

This performance runs for approximately 45 minutes with no interval

Please note that glass human contains strong language and themes of a sensitive nature. If you have been affected by content of this opera, the following organisations can offer support:
Mind  |  Samaritans  |  Age UK  |  Refugee Action


glass human

A NEW CHAMBER OPERA

Music by Samantha Fernando
Libretto by Melanie Wilson
Sound score by Samantha Fernando and Melanie Wilson
Sung in English

Creative team

Conductor
Ashley Beauchamp

Director
Lucy Bailey

Designer
Joanna Parker

Lighting Designer
Charlotte Burton

Lead Engagement Artist
Freya Wynn-Jones

Glyndebourne Tour Orchestra players
Daisy Spiers Viola
Rosie Banks-Francis Cello
Sue Blair Harp
Cameron Sinclair Percussion
Iñigo Mikeleiz Accordion

Music Preparation
Ben-San Lau

Cast

Grace
Anna Cavaliero

Oma
Camille Maalawy

Edward
Denver Martin Smith


Contributors (audio experts)
Sarah Bannerjee, Kate Cable,
Professor Robin Bannerjee, Raghad
Haddad, Dr Gillian Sandstrom and
Dawn Walton

NORWICH
Members of the Norwich Theatre Singing Sessions group:
Beatrice Dale, Julie Golland, Jennifer Holroyd, Rick Law, Vanessa Owen, Christine Stone, Andy Tourle

CANTERBURY
Members of Canterbury Umbrella: Caroline Patricia Clark, Wayne Michael Rhodes, Chrissy Jean Swain and other members of Canterbury Umbrella
Marlowe community member: Graeme A Forbes

MILTON KEYNES
Residents of Milton Court Care Home

LIVERPOOL
Members of Liverpool Empire Tuesday Movers Group

BRIGHTON
Members of Windmill Young Actors:
Iris Dury, Charlie Morton, Arthur Deedman, George Wilkins


Photographer: Richard Hubert Smith


Synopsis

Three lonely people live isolated lives in a tower block: Grace, a geology student at university away from home for the first time, hears an unsettling voice in her head; Oma, a Syrian refugee, waits for her leave to remain and Edward, bereaved, experiences the first effects of dementia, sending him back to his childhood in Boston Bay, Jamaica.

The lives of the trio, and their landscapes of thought and feeling entwine around each other, echoing in parallel.

A mysterious sound begins to be heard. It gets louder as the days pass, and isolation intensifies. One night the sound becomes so loud that the trio are forced to leave their flats to find its source. They are drawn outside to the earth, where a sinkhole opens around them, bearing them down into allegorical depths. In this sinkhole they face their deepest fears and wounds and in so doing, find connection with each other, and the possibility of meaning and an exit from isolation.

Melanie Wilson

glass human is supported by PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund

You might also like

Enter our prize draw and you could win opera on demand for a…
Join the family
The perfect present for opera lovers this Christmas
Art exhibition
Our annual exhibition of contemporary Sussex art, featuring …
Nardus Williams performs music by Donizetti and Caccini.
Brighten the stage with world-class opera and artists
Glyndebourne Shop
Our online shop offers a great selection of exclusive and locally sourced products. Every purchase supports our work.
Become a Member
Enjoy priority booking for the Festival. Find out how you can join as an Associate Member
Support us
Glyndebourne is a charity and the Festival receives no public subsidy. We rely on generous supporters who are passionate about opera.

Select time

Cancel