The world premiere of IN PARENTHESIS is British composer Iain Bell’s adaptation of the epic poem by Welsh writer David Jones. Directed by David Pountney, the opera was commissioned as part of the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary.
Private John Ball and his comrades in the Royal Welch Fusiliers are posted to the Somme. In Mametz Wood they enter a strange realm – outside of time, dream-like but deadly
Rather than simply reporting the horrors of the Somme, IN PARENTHESIS dares to offer hope. Bell’s beautiful score combines traditional Welsh song with moments of other-worldliness, terror, humour and transcendence. David Pountney’s period production is both an evocation and a commemoration of the events of the Somme.
Born in London in 1980, Iain Bell is best known for his vocal music work both for opera and song, as well as his close artistic relationship with soprano Diana Damrau, for whom he has written various works including DAUGHTERS OF BRITANNIA and THE HIDDEN PLACE as well as the opera A HARLOT’S PROGRESS, staged in 2013 at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. His second opera A CHRISTMAS CAROL premiered in 2014 at the Houston Grand Opera, starring Jay Hunter Morris and directed by Simon Callow. IN PARENTHESIS is Bell’s third opera and premiered in May 2016 at Wales Millennium Centre.