Silent Jack

Silent Jack

His Sorrowful Lamentation And Final Farewell To The World

Life Stories: 2015, 2016

Words
Anthony Peter and Tim Benjamin
Composer / Director
Tim Benjamin
Designer
Amy Westwood
Music Director
Antony Brannick
Amy Beddoes
Taylor Wilson

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”
The Stage

“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.”
Manchester Salon

“...a truly remarkable performance that is nearly unheard of within smaller opera companies and festivals...”
Musically Notable

“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

Performers

  • Taylor Wilson
    Taylor Wilson

    Amy Beddoes

    Taylor Wilson

    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”

    www.taylorwilson.com

Violin / Leader
Charlotte Dowding
Cello
Alistair Howes / Chris Terrapin
Fortepiano, Repetiteur
Simon Passmore
Percussion
Chris Brannick
Flutes, Piccolo
Lynda Robertson
Costume Maker
Alexandra Ware
Movement Coach
Bethan Rhys-Wiliam
Lighting Designer
Tom Sutcliffe
Stage Manager
Verity Sturdy
Producer
Jenny Sheldon

Performances

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