Saturday 13th, 18.00 & Sunday 14th August, 14.55

Park Music Co



Tales of our fathers has come about as a reaction to, the previous Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival 2009 premiere Law Of Motion; in that research/performance work Ian and Ben established a clear mode of process, a means by which they can effectively collaborate and generate ideas, whilst producing work that is both thought provoking and exciting to them and their audience. By involving Steven Tiplady in this production, they are bringing this process, to connect with a ‘teller of tales’ (Dust, Pinocchio, The Chalk Giants), one who tells a tale in a unique and beautifully visual way. This will be done via the use of a white backlit 5mx3m screen, simple images, repeating and evolving upon the screen, fading and cross-fading.



Operatic shadow theatre tells the Tales of our Fathers that represent a life, told by a son and the magical imagery of Steve Tiplady. Using Ian’s poetry which is to centre on ‘shards’ of tales; tales that describe the moments of a fathers’ life, as seen by the son, that shaped the man, that became the father, such as:


  • He sails across a pond in a boat he’s made himself and decides he wants to go to sea.


  • He watches flying fish in the South China sea.


  • Home from sea for the last time in 1958, carries me into the garden. I say gogn gogn gogn.


These words will be entwined within the music and vocals, and the tale that they tell shall be described visually through the use of shadow-play, conveying the sense of narrative.


NB Ian MacMillan will be in on the Sunday 14 August.


This is a Family show suitable for ages 7 and up

Music: Ben Park

Words: Ian McMillan

Puppeteer: Steve Tiplady

Marimba: Steve Gibson

Soprano: Sarah Dacey

Tenor: Phil Brown

Cello: Rebecca Jordan (recorded)

Guitar: Brodie Campbell-Park (recorded)

Puppeteer: Sally Todd




Ben Park: Music Ben is a composer with a varied appetite. He writes for film television, theatre and contemporary dance. With long time collaborator, Fin Walker, he has been associate artist at the Royal Opera House and is currently artist in residence at the Oxford Playhouse.


Steve Tiplady & Sally Todd: Puppeteers are Indefinite Articles Theatre Company: They formed in 1995 they have been creating theatre shows from stuff thereon. In 2002 they turned their attention to the transformatory nature of shadows and have been stuck there ever since.


Ian McMillan: Words Ian is poet-in-residence for English National Opera, The Academy of Urbanism and Barnsley FC. He’s UK Trade & Investment’s Poet, Yorkshire TV’s Investigative Poet and Humberside Police’s Beat Poet; currently Ian is presenting The Verb, Radio 3’s Cabaret of The Word, doing gigs all over the place on his own and with cartoonist and musician.

Steve Gibson: Marimba Steve includes CHROMA, playing for Mathew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands, Push and Odysseus Unwound for Tête à Tête 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.


Sarah Dacey: Soprano trained RAM and York University. She is a member of the critically acclaimed juice vocal ensemble, a female a cappella trio specialising in contemporary music.


Phil Brown: Tenor Trained at Conway Brown as a Linguist, now divides his time between opera and contemporary music singing regularly with ROH, ENO and such contemporary groups as the vocal group Synergy and the ensemble group Moderne.


Rebecca Jordan: Cello A very talented ensemble and solo player, working extensively with the Oreos String quartet, recognised for its energetic and charismatic performances. She has also worked with stars, such as Gabrielle, the Hohouse Flowers and Duran Duran. Brodie Campbell-Park: Guitar is a young singer song writer currently living and working in west London; playing live where he can and writing his first album- some excerpts of which can be found on