It is the composer's third opera after A Harlot's Progress (Vienna, 2013) and A Christmas Carol (Houston, 2014).
Private John Ball and his comrades in the Royal Welch Fusiliers are posted to the Somme. In Mametz Wood they enter a strange realm – outside of time, dream-like but deadly. Even here amongst the destruction, a fragile flowering of regeneration and re-birth can be found. (reproduced from the WNO website).The cast includes tenor Andrew Bidlack (Private John Ball), baritone Peter Coleman-Wright (Bard of Brittannia / HQ Officer), soprano Alexandra Deshorties (Bard of Germania / Alice the Barmaid / The Queen of the Woods), baritone George Humphreus (Lieutenant Jenkins), baritone Marcus Farnsworth (Lance Corporal Lewis) and tenor Graham Clark (The Marne Sergeant). Carlo Rizzi conducts the WNO Chorus and Orchestra. David Pountney directs.
After performances in Cardiff at the Wales Millennium Centre, the opera will tour to Birmingham (June 10) and the Royal Opera House in London (June-July). The opera will be broadcast by BBC Radio 3 on July 2.