THEY WHISPER DON’T GAZE AT THE STARS, BUT THEY DON’T TELL US WHY was a large-scale, new opera created with a cast of 60 teenagers in response to the Complicite / ENO production of Mozart’s THE MAGIC FLUTE. It was first performed at Mulberry School for Girls; an extract was later performed at the London Coliseum in March 2019.
The company worked together for 4 days in half term as part of this ENO Baylis project, exploring the music, themes and story of THE MAGIC FLUTE and using it as inspiration for devising their own songs as part of a 30 minute new opera. THEY WHISPER… tells the story of a group of rebels who break away from the confines of a society of automatons and observers, presided over by a sinister organisation called SARASTRO INC., and escape to a magical forest where they celebrate their independence and freedom.
The song lyrics and music were created by the company, accompanied by keyboard, trombone and flute. The production drew on design ideas from THE MAGIC FLUTE by integrating live video design into the set, playing with paper and drawings to create a changing background and shifts in atmosphere. Professional soprano Barbara Cole Watson performed with the company, singing the Queen of the Night’s repertoire, which was woven into the new musical score created for the production.
Composition & Musical Direction: Hannah Conway
Design: Cécile Trémolières
Assistant Director: Sam Hardie
Assistant Musical Director: Themba Mvula
Assistant Designer: Catrina Wilmot
Soprano: Barbara Cole Watson
Trombone: Raphael Clarkson
Flute: Imogen Morrall
Creative Assistants: Maya Ellen Wheeler Colwell, Evangeline Cullingworth, Leanne Sedin
Rehearsal and production photos by John Snelling: