New Music  |  New Theatre

An English estate, 1720: A young woman stumbles into a secret cellar, the faded trappings of past glory decaying all around. Who is she? Why does she collapse, exhausted, craving sleep? Her final moments have arrived. We hear her tale, of riches and love won and lost, and we learn the terrible truth of the price of her struggle to survive.

“A gun and a nod and a bag at a broken window suffice...”

Silent Jack

His Sorrowful Lamentation and Last Farewell to the World

Silent Jack tells the story of an 18th-century noblewoman, wealth lost by her missing husband to the South Sea bubble, who takes up a new life as a highwayman to make ends meet. In this gripping chamber opera, we come face-to-face with “Silent Jack” and hear of her halcyon past and grim decline, until, sharing her final moments of life, we learn of the terrible discovery she has made.

Taylor Wilson, mezzo-soprano, as SILENT JACK

This opera - lasting 35 minutes, by Tim Benjamin and Anthony Peter - is presented in a direct, intimate format: the protagonist (played by Taylor Wilson) addresses the audience up-close and personally. With a focus on story-telling, it mixes humour and tragedy, accompanied by atmospheric music that draws on Purcell.

Silent Jack is presented alongside Rest In Peace in LIFE STORIES, and premiered at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, on 1st July 2015 before embarking on a tour of the north-west, taking in Preston, Halifax, and Todmorden, followed by a run of performances at London’s prestigious festival of contemporary opera: Tête-à-Tête: The Opera Festival.

“...a masterclass in opera...”

“If Harold Pinter had ever written an opera, this would surely be it”

“...beautifully written and superbly sung and acted...”

“...a joy from start to finish...”

“...a scene of rare power that is profoundly tragic and deeply credible...”

“...provocative and quite beautiful...”

“...one to see next time it tours...”

Read the reviews

Previous shows...

RNCM, Manchester: 1st July 2015

The Continental, Preston: 2nd July 2015

Square Chapel, Halifax: 3rd July 2015

Hippodrome, Todmorden: 4th July 2015

Tête-à-Tête: The Opera Festival, The Place, London: 21st-22nd July 2015

Salford Arts Theatre, Salford: 5th February 2016

The Civic, Barnsley: 6th February 2016

Junction, Goole: 20th February 2016

Little Theatre, Hebden Bridge: 4th March 2016


View the production photo gallery

“The romantic image of the highwayman masks what must have been a dangerous and grim existence. Silent Jack features a very unusual tale from history: a female highwayman, and a story filled with romance but also the terrible consequences of a grim and dangerous existence”

LIFE STORIES composer Tim Benjamin