Short Operas

Wreckage of Dreams

Night. A small raft, adrift on the sea with a dead engine, is alone under the moon…

In March 2011 seventy refugees fled Libya, hoping to escape to Europe across the Mediterranean. Two weeks later, their engine broken, their food and water depleted, their boat drifted back onto the Libyan coast. By this point nine were left alive. During their drift the refugees had encountered fishermen, a NATO helicopter and a warship. Nevertheless, they remained adrift.

Wreckage of Dreams is a short opera written about the event. It was originally written for the ENO’s Miniopera competition, based on a scenario written by Neil Gaiman. The script was one of the finalists.

The script is in the public domain so is available for performance or setting to music by any and all.

» Read Wreckage of Dreams

On Harrowdown Hill

In 2003 a body was discovered in an area of woodland known as Harrowdown Hill in Oxfordshire. It was the body of a man in his late fifties. He had been without a coat, though the weather had teeth in it. He was identified as David Kelly.

Kelly was a British weapons expert and UN inspector who died of an apparent suicide in the lead-up to the second Iraq War, in the midst of the ‘dodgy dossier’ scandal in the UK. This short opera imagines moments leading up to a similar demise.

The original scenario for On Harrowdown Hill was written by Will Self for the ENO’s 2012 Miniopera competition. Like Wreckage of Dreams, my other script, it was selected as a competition finalist.

Also like Wreckage of Dreams, On Harrowdown Hill is in the public domain so is available for performance or setting to music by anyone.

» Read On Harrowdown Hill