Premiere of ‘Giant’ a New Opera from Visionary Composer Sarah Angliss

By 13th June 2023 Representation

Premiere of 'Giant' a New Opera from Visionary Composer Sarah Angliss

“Vividly realised…the music’s eerie metallic edge as transfixing as the moral ambiguities of the 18th-century story.”  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ The Guardian

“An utterly compelling sound world from Sarah Angliss’s first opera…  miraculous” ★ ★ ★ ★ Opera Now

Fantastic reviews for ‘Giant’, a new opera composed by Air-Edel’s Sarah Angliss and librettist Ross Sutherland. ‘Giant’ premiered at Britten Studio, Snape Maltings.

“Angliss’s spine-shiveringly ethereal score — melding conventional strings with 18th-century instruments, sound effects and ghostly vocal counterpoints for female voices (Gweneth Ann Rand, Héloïse Werner, Melanie Pappenheim) — creates an entirely original sound world, brought to life by six fine musicians under Ben Smith’s direction.” ★ ★ ★ ★ The Times

“A look at Angliss’s spare music score, with its tinkling percussion, ethereal string chords and distant pre-recoded sounds, might suggest that it could never fit a story of such dark realism. Instead, the two complement each other. The otherworldly music adds an extra layer, questioning, uneasy, timeless, that elevates the issues involved to a higher level.”  ★ ★ ★ ★ Financial Times

Sarah was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Front Row Podcast and on BBC Radio 3 The Verb radio show. 

A brand-new opera from visionary composer Sarah Angliss, telling the story of the 18th-century “Irish giant” who was betrayed in the name of science.

“First do no harm”, every doctor says. But what happens when a patient’s body is so extraordinary, his corpse becomes an object of desire – a trophy? Giant tells the true tale of surgeon John Hunter and his obsession with Charles Byrne – a man he would ultimately betray in one of the most disturbing acts in the era of the grave robbers.

Written for five voices, Giant uses eighteenth century instruments, live electronics and bespoke music machines as it vividly recalls the events surrounding Byrne’s death: an extraordinary story that resonates through the ages.