Tête à Tête


These free events ran throughout the 2012 Tête à Tête Opera Festival.



Nine Stories High – WNO


Installation – Throughout the Festival



Episodes 1 – 3

Writer Alan Harris

Composer Stacey Blythe

Director Ian Mackenzie Thurley


Episodes 4 – 6

Writer Ben Gwalchmai

Composer Elfyn Jones

Director Joanna Turner


Episodes 7 – 9

Writer Mark Williams

Composer Helen Woods

Director Angharad Lee


Nine Stories High was a live Soap Opera which took place in Wrexham, North Wales inspired by stories told by Wrexham people. Following the tangled love lives and feuds of landlord Terry, his wife Sandra and a host of local characters, it was performed by professional opera singers, including members of WNO’s Chorus, in the town’s pubs, shops and market. Watch and find out what happens to Terry – will he reunite with his true love?





Hoo-ray and up she Rises – Opera North


Installation – Throughout the Festival

Devised: Martin Smith


Based on the traditional sea-shanty Drunken Sailor Commissioned by Leeds Canvas, a consortium of eight Leeds-based organisations for Artists taking the Lead, including Opera North. Transporting the high seas up the Thames to Hammersmith, Martin Smith’s viewing box is a tiny sea shanty in motion, based on perhaps the most famous sea-faring song of all time. Guaranteed to turn all land-lubbers into salty sea-dogs.


Twitching – DrawnForth Opera


2 & 19 August 18.30 – 18.45

Music & Words: Catherine Kontz

Singer: Ellan Parry


Twitching is an opera happening that examines the loss of privacy in our society. Ellan Parry features as a soloist amongst the wandering ornithologists who will do their best to draw you into their wondrous world of binoculars and birdsong.


Foyer version


Terrace version


Salty Sarah


16, 17 & 18 August 18.40 – 18.50


Freathy Tippett Salty Sarah

Music: Dimitri Scarlato

Words: Alexia Anastasiadis

Director: Julie Osman

Producer: Roisin Stimpson

Designer: Lucy Matthews


What happens when a female librettist and male composer who see things very differently are thrown together? Salty Sarah explores the unspoken tensions of male-female relationships against the backdrop of an intrusive fishing village. Photo: Attributed to Deutsche Fotothek-


Future opera


4 August


Five to Midnight 18.30 – 18.45,


Sam’s quiet thoughts are interrupted when she meets a mystical character who guides her through a difficult decision as dancers embody her torment.


Four to Midnight 20.55 – 21.10


‘Offender’, ‘Asbo’, ‘Petty criminal’… such easy words to say. Some words are harder… ‘Afraid’, ‘Confused’, ‘Angry’. Dancers reenact a dramatic scene as Luke remembers his past.


(NB Three to Midnight (Ticketed performance) 21.10 – 21.50)


5 August


Five to Midnight 15.30 – 15.45

Four to Midnight 17.55 – 18.10

(NB Three to Midnight (Ticketed performance) 18.10 – 18.50)


Music: Alexander Campkin

Words: Ben Kaye

Director: Imogen Tedbury

Choreographer: Jamie Thompson

Ampersandance Dance company


In an extraordinary tale merging reality with new myth, a chance meeting between three strangers sparks a touching exploration of love, time and mortality. A thrilling fusion of opera and dance, the mystic Three to Midnight will challenge your perception of fate as the clock ticks ever closer to eternity.