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.

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

This is the second performance of Giant at the Aldeburgh Festival. The World Premiere is on Friday 9 June at 7.30pm, preceded by a talk with Sarah Angliss.

Commissioned by Britten Pears Arts in 2018

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

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

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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