The whole world is a jest. … But he laughs best, Who laughs last.
Arrigo Boito, libretto for Verdi’s Falstaff
David Ward, born in 1941, studied composition under Alexander Goehr and has been composing operatic works since 1962. In 1998 he moved from the island of Yell in Shetland to a farm near Huntly where he has lived ever since. His compositions range from solo sonatas to operas large and small and many things in between.
With so much dischord inherent within the Brexit debate and process, how, and indeed can we at all, get beyond the ‘noise’ of it all to reach any points of understanding? Working with librettist Neville Rigby, David is composing a chamber opera with the preliminary working title B means B, reacting to aspects of the noise and confusion around Brexit. As a chamber opera, it is expected to be about an hour in duration, written for a small chamber company of four singers, and six instruments.
Brexit has global implications, but also touches the smallest facets of our everyday lives. B means B will examine the opposing attitudes of Brexit through the eyes of a domestic family household in Scotland. Taking this global/local parallel approach further, David plans to pair professional opera-dramatic voices with singers, both professional and amateur, from the folk music tradition of the North East of Scotland.