"On Harrowdown Hill" is a 7-minute opera I wrote for the ENO Mini-Operas project in 2012. A compact but otherwise fairly traditionally structured opera, "On Harrowdown Hill" focuses on the character of The Inspector, a good man thrown to the wolves by the dark forces of The Advisor and The Journalist.
Synopsis: The Inspector encounters The Advisor who tells him that the report he has written needs 'more bite'. The Inspector responds that it contains facts, but the Advisor insists that it needs to be changed. When The Inspector meets up with The Journalist, he encounters the same opinion, and has to protest that his words have been changed. The group of Journalists pester The Advisor for the name of the source and after a little delay, he wordlessly indicates The Inspector. The Inspector is aghast at the changes that have been made to what he said.
The story of On Harrowdown Hill is based on that of the UN Weapons Inspector, David Kelly. Read the full libretto at basement-garden.co.uk/on-harrowdown-hill/
released July 23, 2012
Libretto: Shaun Gardiner
The Inspector: Charles Turner, bass-baritone
The Advisor: Andrew Pickett, counter-tenor
The Journalist: Nick Allen, tenor
Electric violin: Chrissie Caulfield
Flute: Caitlin Rowley
Chorus of Journalists: Tamara Tempera, Jenni Pinnock, Rachel Rhodes, Caitlin Rowley