Emma Jenkins and David Antrobus, librettists for IN PARENTHESIS, discuss how they worked together to adapt the poem for an opera production.
David Antrobus has been interested in World War I since his school days which were when he discovered IN PARENTHESIS, David Jones’s epic poem about the Battle of the Somme and the horrors of war.
Jones, who worked mainly as a visual artist, initially conceived IN PARENTHESISas a drawing cycle. It was only later that words replaced his graphic efforts. Jones aimed to capture ‘things exterior and interior’ – feelings, impressions and vague memories in his texts.
David Jones searched for new means of expression to capture his memories for generations to come. With their new opera version, Antrobus and Jenkins continue his work, extending Jones’s poetry through music and performance.
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