Thurs 6 & Fri 7 Aug 2009


It has long been suggested that Ian’s writing would truly complements the way Ben writes for voice, and having worked together over 15years ago, they sat down & conjured a story of their lives, a story that crosses both their paths- Law of motion is the first manifestation of this work and sets about to tell part of the tale of father, son, and their loss of one another- This is not purely about character, and story, but about the inner emotional ‘reaction to action’, expressed though the ‘inner voices’ set within the music. This experiment sets about to see if it is possible, and if so, how best this can be achieved.



Law of Motion A work in progress looks at aspects of this new collaboration between poet and composer.
It is an opera that explores ways of expressing the inner life of the characters in the simple, yet universal story of a family.
A man on his death bed spends his last days examining his actions when ten years prior he left his struggling wife and children. His actions impacted on his family in a myriad of ways, reverberating through the generations. The inner emotions of the protagonists are eventually to be explored through voice, dance and the use of complex harmonies; their deeper feelings swell and are expressed. Expect to be visually as well as aurally stirred.






Music: Ben Park

Words: Ian McMillan
Piano: Rachel Bennett

Percussion: Steve Gibson
Cello: Amanda Truelove
Synergy Vocals: Michaela Haslam, Katy Hill, Philip Conway and Lawrence White.



Ben Park has been writing for theatre, film and contemporary dance since 1988, before this, he was a session saxophonist.
With his partner, choreographer Fin Walker, he is artistic director of Walker Park Dance and Music co which has been the Associate Contemporary Company at the Royal Opera House over the past five years and is now resident at the Oxford Playhouse.

Ben has been developing his operatic ideas over the last three years with the assistance of Operagenesis of which Law of Motion is a continuation and most significantly, he has been encouraged and mentored over this time by Opera Director Francisco Negrin.


Rachael Bennett studied at the Royal College of Music where she developed a passion for contemporary music. An active freelance musician throughout the UK and member of the London Contemporary Music Group with whom she has premiered and recorded works by composers such as Mark-Anthony Turnage and Colin Mathews. Rachael is also involved in the broader contemporary arts scene,


Steve Gibson’s recent work includes CHROMA, playing for Mathew Bourne’s ‘Edward Scissorhands’, ‘Push’ and ‘Odysseus Unwound’ for Tete à Tete, and ‘House of the Gods’ for Music Theatre Wales, working with the composer Ben Park for the WDPM tour of ‘5 2 10’ playing a mix of computer samples and live percussion, and performing with the Divine Comedy.

Ian McMillan is currently presenting The Verb, Radio 3’s Cabaret of the Word, doing gigs all over the place on my own and with cartoonist Tony Husband and musician Luke Goss and writing weekly columns for The Yorkshire Post and The Barnsley Chronicle. It’s a busy life but I love it: it’s a long way from Oscar the Frog, but maybe it isn’t.