The Lion’s Face is a tale of love, loss and family with music by Elena Langer and words by Glyn Maxwell.
Winner of an Argus Angel Award, Brighton Festival
**** “I was far more charmed and entertained by The Opera Group’s latest premiere than I expected to be. And touched as well. In its gentler, understated and small-scale way The Lion’s Face finds a way of saying something profound and moving… a courageous piece”
*** “There is a fundamental honesty about the piece and an absence of sentimentality or melodrama which commands respect.”
*** “John Fulljames’s straightforward production has a dignified presence of its own, without resorting to sensationalism or preaching”
When a man loses his way home it signals an irreversible return to childhood. Compassionate, heartfelt, strikingly dramatic and often witty, this is an original and richly-textured take on ageing, memory and the incomprehension of getting old in the minds of the young.
Elena Langer and Glyn Maxwell’s first opera together, The Girl of Sand, was described as “Hauntingly beautiful… an enticing sonic tapestry,” by the Evening Standard.
The Opera Group’s production of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene won the 2008 Evening Standard award for Best Musical.
Working in partnership with Professor Simon Lovestone’s team at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, The Opera Group has been developing the opera over the course of two years to find a way of creatively exploring the experiences of the Alzheimer’s patient, the carer and the research scientist.
Artistic Director John Fulljames says “Opera seems to be the ideal art-form in which to explore a retreat into an inner world in which the patient’s ability to communicate with the world diminishes. One of the aims of the project is to find ways of communicating the experience of being touched by the condition – either as patient, carer, clinician or scientist – with a view to increasing public understanding.”
Our opera premieres at the Brighton Festival on 20 May 2010, then tours the UK through the summer. See the Tour section for venues and dates.
At the heart of the project are a series of off-stage events where scientists, artists, audiences can exchange ideas and discuss the opera and latest research into Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. See the Off-stage section for details.
The Opera Group, in co-production with Brighton Dome & Festival and Watford Palace Theatre
Mr D Dave Hill
Mrs D Elizabeth Sikora
Caregiver Rachel Hynes
Caregiver’s Daughter Fflur Wyn
Clinician Benedict Nelson
Boy Harry Bradford
Cover Boy Jonathan Bircumshaw
Director John Fulljames
Conductor Nicholas Collon
Designer Alex Lowde
LX Designer Jon Clark
Sound Designer Fergus O’Hare
Projection Designer Ian Galloway
Production Photographer Alastair Muir
This project is taking part in a nine-month UK-wide season of activity about identity from the Wellcome Trust. See www.theidentityproject.org.uk