An Opera for Bridlington - Harvey Brough & Lee Hall

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Commissioned by Opera North – A community Opera – libretto by Lee Hall for SATB Soloists and community singers of all ages with chamber ensemble (Vln, Vla Cb, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, Marimba/Percussion, Harp, Piano).

First performances Bridlington Spa July 2011 with a cast of 300 singers.
Directed by Karen Gillingham
Designed by Ruth Paton


I very much enjoyed working on the project. I thought you did a great job, and all the participants I came across thoroughly enjoyed it all. I heard one little boy aged about ten, on Saturday afternoon, having been told by his teacher after the first performance to start getting ready for the evening, say "What? We get to do it all again? Great!" I think he spoke for them all.
- Vera Jovanovic (Opera North Bass player)

It all came together, the evening show was quite something! If there is ever to be another Opera North project like this one - I for one would be surprised if you're not on the scene!!
- Alan Tokely (Opera North Horn Player)

I'll take with me the community chorus standing among the groynes singing 'twinned with Bad Salzuflen' with the little glock note and their powerful sense of pride that they sang it with. A magic moment! We kept our humour and focused on the music - the most important thing, after all. I'd love to work with you again, of course.
- Lea Cornthwaite (Animateur)

Saturday evening was amazing, and the thing I loved was the audience reaction - they laughed at all the jokes, they got it, they felt the warmth in the piece. We did our opera and it was amazing - a big, physical, dark and tangy show, a triumph. I am now exhausted!
- Em Whitfield Brooks (Animateur)

What is important is the music and the music making, touching the hearts of the audience. The opera itself is a little gem. I thought the lyrics and music were so well thought of and put together and the whole opera was a very close representation of Bridlington today and its community. Having lived there for eleven days I did see the morning dog walkers, metal detectors, joggers, toddlers on the beach, fish and chips and naughty but sweet children. It was such a pleasure bringing music to and singing with the people of Bridlington. With music we brought joy to so many people.
- Meeta Raval (Professional Soprano)

It is such a fantastic piece. When I think back to having heard the music of the ending in the soloists rehearsals on that Friday, as well as knowing something of the personal resonance that the piece holds for you - my heart went out to you when I first heard the decision to cancel, and I am delighted that it went ahead.
I am also pleased that everybody that I had worked with who put such hard work in - the community, the children, you, Karen, Lea, Em, Emily, Ruth and Toby and many others - could go away feeling proud of what they achieved. I appreciate that after all the turmoil you were very strong to come back and MD, and we were all so pleased that you did.
Please do keep me in mind for any projects that you are involved with as I would love to work with you again in the future, and if Beached is ever on the cards again count me in.
- Katherine Wilde (Assistant Director)

I was genuinely really delighted with the project (though there were a few more twists and turns than I ever expected.....). It looked and sounded great and I was very proud of what we all achieved. The Guardian review captured the real feel of the project and the fantastic inclusive quality of the overall production really well - so well done you as well for coming back and just picking up again with so little fuss. The whole debate just galvanised everyone into really taking ownership and gave the whole process that little extra push that is often needed to make the moment special.
- Tim Skelly (Lighting designer)

We were hugely impressed by 'Beached', the breadth, range and quality of the production as well as the music and lyrics: it must get recognised as an important piece, and it would seem to be easy to adapt it to other places/circumstances. Congratulations again!
- Ian Little (Head of Music Ampleforth School)

Masterful performance on Front Row...well done, amigo! BROUGH FOR PM, say I!
- Jeremy Taylor

The gay character is crucial to the final resolution of the piece - that we all - fragile but differing humans - have a stake in our community (represented here by common ground i.e. the beach) and in each other - for me as a humanist the message is brilliant. We have one life and we must live it together and make it the best we can for each other because that's all we've got.
- Sue Gollop (Community Choir member)