His Sorrowful Lamentation And Final Farewell To The World
Life Stories: 2015, 2016
- Anthony Peter and Tim Benjamin
- Composer / Director
- Tim Benjamin
- Amy Westwood
- Music Director
- Antony Brannick
- Amy Beddoes
- Taylor Wilson
Life Stories: 2015, 2016
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 tells the story – the “sorrowful lamentation and final farewell”, in the style of period pamphlets – of an 18th-century noblewoman, Amy Beddoes, 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.
“A death scene of rare power that is profoundly tragic and deeply credible”
“A brilliant all-round performance ... Benjamin’s composition was provocative and quite beautiful. This opera offers new and exciting music performed to a very high standard” A Younger Theatre
Silent Jack was presented alongside Rest In Peace in LIFE STORIES, and premiered in Manchester, on 1st July 2015 before embarking on a tour of the north-west, taking in Preston, Halifax, Salford, Goole, and Todmorden, followed by a run of performances at London’s prestigious festival of contemporary opera: Tête-à-Tête: The Opera Festival. LIFE STORIES toured again in 2016, and also visited the studio, resulting in Radius's second commercial recording.
“Life Stories is the evening for you. A pithy, prescient two-parter, Life Stories bounces one tale off another and leaves us asking for more.”
“...a truly remarkable performance that is nearly unheard of within smaller opera companies and festivals...”
“Fierce and fiery performances ... this production is a gem” Jildy Sauce
“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”
Tim Benjamin, composer of Silent Jack
Taylor Wilson, mezzo soprano, trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and went on to read modern languages at Strathclyde University.
She performs regularly in recital, where solo engagements include a Dutch radio performance and recitals in Switzerland, Los Angeles, Denmark and Hong Kong. Concert solo appearances include repertoire from the early oratorios of JS Bach and Handel, through to the works of Mahler, Rossini and Elgar, which she has performed with the Scottish Opera Connect Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Scottish National Orchestra. She has performed with opera companies such as Scottish Opera, Hamburg Neuer Theater, Edinburgh Grand Opera and Salzburg Festspielhaus.
Taylor is also a champion of new music, which is often written for her. She has enjoyed a successful collaboration with Radius Opera, for whom she has performed many times and made a CD recording. Apart from her operatic work, she has toured world wide as chanteuse and actress with her one-woman shows and has featured on several albums, film soundtracks and acted in short films.
“Collaborating with Radius Opera has been one of the highlights of my career as a singer. There was a great mutual respect and work ethic, which allowed us to explore the music and characters in a most productive and creative way, ultimately bringing out the best in us all”