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 18th-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.

Giant is a new opera from composer Sarah Angliss, poet Ross Sutherland and director Sarah Fahie.

World Premiere, Friday 09 June at 7.30pm, preceded by a talk with Sarah Angliss. There will be a second performance on Saturday at 3.30pm.

Commissioned by Britten Pears Arts in 2018

Sarah Angliss composer
Sarah Fahie director
Adam Silverman lighting designer
Callum Finn production manager
Hyemi Shin set designer
Nicky Gillibrand costume designer
Madeleine Brooks assistant director

Karim Sulayman Charles Byrne
Gweneth Ann Rand Rooker
Héloïse Werner Madame DuVal
Jonathan Gunthorpe Hunter
Melanie Pappenheim Sister Mary

Poetic... their beauty is pointed and hard-won

The Guardian on the compositions of Sarah Angliss


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Dates & times

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