Sun 2 Aug 2009


Jacko’s Hour is a new full-length chamber opera, inspired by the classic Western High Noon. The production opens at Pavilion Theatre (Brighton Dome) 11,12 September, then moves to London’s Bridewell Theatre: 15-19 September. For the Opera Festival we wanted to stage a unique event, acknowledging our debt to Fred Zinnemann’s masterpiece – and the many
other composers and writers who influenced us, consciously or otherwise, in the creation of our opera. High Noon clips: copyright Paramount Pictures


The Story of High Noon

Marshall Will Kane’s marriage to the beautiful Amy is disrupted by the news that the brutal killer Frank Miller has been released from jail, and is returning on the noon train to take his revenge. Kane refuses to run, but when he calls for men to fight with him against Miller’s gang, the townsfolk – and even his new bride – turn their back on him. Now he must face the killers alone.


The Story of Jacko’s Hour

John Rollins, known as Jacko, runs the Lone Star Shootin’ Range on a touring fair in present-day Yorkshire. The celebration of his daughter’s engagement is broken by the arrival of Eliza Pierce, wife of Geordie – the man convicted for the manslaughter of Jacko’s brother. Jacko determines to take a stand, but in his hour of need the other showmen are nowhere to


Original music: Elfyn Jones

Libretto: Tim Satterthwaite

Video editing: Mike Wilcox

Jacko: Brian Smith Walters

Amy: Annabel Mountford

Mickey: Zach Roberts

Damien: David Douglas

Grace: Stephanie Seeney
Sarah, Eliza: Amy Payne

Jimmy, Geordie: Danny Standing

Kane: Henry Deacon
Cowboy, Arthur: Tom Stoddart

Piano: Elfyn Jones


Elfyn Jones graduated from University of Wales College Cardiff with a BMus 1st Class Hons and then gained his MMus in Composition at Guildhall School of Music & Drama. He has worked as a composer and music animateur on projects for many national companies. He now works as a Music Development Leader for Devon Music Service. Stage works with Tim Satterthwaite include: The Firebucket (musical, 1997, ENO Baylis), The Nightjar (1999, Tête à Tête), The Dead of Night (ON Resonance), Anniversaries (ENO Baylis), Diver (NT Studio, 2007).


Tim Satterthwaite is a librettist, playwright and director. He began his career as assistant director and workshop leader at West Yorkshire Playhouse (1993), and then went on to form Leeds-based Local Space Theatre Company. In 1997 he graduated with distinction from the MA Playwriting at University of Birmingham. Since 1998, he has worked extensively as writer and director in music theatre and opera education.


The Company is made up of singers and musicians from the UK’s leading conservatoires: Trinity College of Music (TCM), Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Royal Northern College of Music. These are singers at the transition point of their performance careers, working professionally as recitalists, opera and choral singers, while completing their postgraduate training. Younger members of the cast are promising new singers in the final years of their music degree. The musicians (members of our seven-piece band) are students on the prestigious BMus Music degree course at TCM.


Opera Engine’s production of Jacko’s Hour is in association with Trinity College of Music, Royal College of Music, Central School of Speech and Drama, Dartington International Summer School. Supported by the Leche Trust, RVW Trust, Musicians Benevolent Fund, Vernon and Hazel Ellis.