A new opera about love, loss and divided lands will have its world premiere on the main stage at Glyndebourne in March 2019.
The opera, titled Agreed, has a multi-genre score by British composer and conductor Howard Moody that includes elements of classical, world and jazz music. The libretto was written by Howard’s daughter, Anna Moody. Her original story tells a tale of love that defies political boundaries, forcing the conscience of the people and their leader to the surface.
The opera features a chorus of around 80 local auditioned singers, ranging in age from 12 - 71. These performers are an active, shaping force of the drama, expressing the emotional effects of separation and political divide. Their music is woven together and led by five professional singers and players from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, one of the two resident orchestras for the Glyndebourne Festival. Among the professional singers are renowned British mezzo-soprano Louise Winter and the critically-acclaimed British jazz and soul singer Zara McFarlane.
Agreed will be directed by Simon Iorio, who previously collaborated with Moody on another community opera project, PUSH, commissioned by Battle Festival for the ROOT 1066 International Festival.
Composer and conductor, Howard Moody, said: ‘Agreed is a story of division, but it will be a process that brings so many people together. With an intergenerational cast and chorus, it is fantastic to hear and see the written score coming to life in all the many dimensions that an opera production offers.’
Glyndebourne has a well-established reputation for delivering pioneering work with and for local people, led by its education department which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2016. Since 1990 Glyndebourne has regularly commissioned large-scale operas for the community and young people to perform in. The most recent of these, 2016’s Nothing, was critically-acclaimed and shortlisted in the opera category of the 2017 South Bank Sky Arts Awards.
These projects also provide valuable opportunities for artists to create new, full-length operas and composers who have been commissioned by Glyndebourne for this work include David Bruce, Orlando Gough and Jonathan Dove.
Agreed is performed at Glyndebourne on 1, 2 and 3 March 2019.