To Himself, Alone

Produced by Joseph Cabon


8:50pm – 9:20pm | Saturday 12 August 2017

RADA Studios Theatre, 16 Chenies Street, London, WC1E 7EX


Early Bird Tickets (Until 19th June): £5

Advance Online: £7.50 | Door/Phone: £9.50


This piece’s core is a fancy: Nebudchadnezzar II, the greatest Babylonian king, back on his throne after seven years of insanity, wandering the wilderness, realises those were the best years of his life, & longs to be free again of constraints & duties of power, knowing that to be impossible.


Music & Words | Joseph Cabon

Stage Director | Brock Roberts

Musical Director | Sonia Ben-Santamaria


Baritone | James Schouten


To Himself, Alone

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Also on Saturday 12 August 2017…


5:00pm – 6:00pm : Proposition for a Conversation About a Silent Opera on Tehching Hsieh

7:00pm – 7:40pm : Citizens of Nowhere

7:05pm – 7:35pm : Belongings

8:00pm – 8:30pm : Schutzwall

8:55pm – 9:25pm : The Hive

Listen Now: Road Memoir: The Podcast Opera


To Himself, Alone 

Produced by Joseph Cabon 


Music and Words: Joseph Cabon

Director: Brock Roberts

Musical Director: Sonia Ben-Santamaria

Baritone: James Schouten



The initial idea for this work dates back to schooldays, but it was seeing Arthur Boyd’s series Nebudchadnezzar recently that was the major trigger for the realisation of To Himself, Alone. Made in 1969-1972, Boyd’s paintings concentrated on the king’s supposed period of madness, as an allegory of the Vietnam War, then at its height.


To Himself, Alone is concerned with Nebudchadnezzar as an individual and his experience of the dual states of madness and sanity.

For seven years the ‘mad’ king lived a madness that took illusion for truth: eating grass, running with the animals, open to all forms of wildness; eccentric and outside of normality. Then he is returned to power.


The notion in this piece is that, far from having been a barren, fruitless existence, Nebudchadnezzar realises that he saw more clearly and experienced the world more keenly during those seven years than before or since. It’s a state he longs to return to, especially when the weight of responsibility is onerous. At such times he straddles the gulf between mad illusion and painful sanity.


It is through the internal commentary continually playing alongside the visible side of human lives that we are able to listen in to Nebchadnezzar’s inner monologue.



Brock Roberts is a theatre director specialising in opera. Beginning his theatrical career as a singer and working with companies in the USA, Germany and the UK, he then moved to directing where he has worked throughout the UK as well as making his international debut in Malta.


Sonia Ben-Santamaria was assistant conductor at the Royal Opera House on Ravi Shankar’s opera, Sukanya, that received its posthumous world premiere this Spring. As a repetiteur Sonia has been gaining broad experience working with a number of companies, including English National Opera & Opera Holland Park.


James Schouten has performed in operas, concerts and contemporary projects. He is orchestrator/musical director with cross-over group Cavalier. Contemporary projects include playing Rupert Brooke in David Earl’s opera Strange Ghost and being musical director for Simone Spagnolo’s actor-muso piece Even you lights, cannot hear me. James will continue his studies at the RCM in 2017.




With thanks to: 

James Schouten, for agreeing to take on the role of Nebudchadnezzar at short notice: Brock Roberts and Sonia Ben-Santamaria, for their professionalism and continued support: Alison Holford, for the ensemble: Neil Luck, for score layout and preparation of instrumental parts: Angela Burton for editing the libretto: Robin Prime, for making the video






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