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Address:British Youth Opera
South Bank University
103 Borough Road
London SE1 0AA  
Tel:+44 [20] 7815 6090
Fax:+44 [20] 7815 6094
Sir John HannamChairman
Timothy DeanArtistic Director
David Balcombe **Executive Director
Stuart BarkerArtistic Administrator
** main contact
Life, Death, Nature and MythSep 2015
British Youth Opera's annual season features the cycle of life and death from the perspective of Janacek, Vaughan Williams and Holst

Nature features vividly in the productions that make up this year’s British Youth Opera’s season.  Janacek had a passion for the natural world and much of his music is inspired by his vision of the Czech countryside.  The Cunning Little Vixen (1924), based on a famous comic strip, is the tale of a mischievous vixen’s rebellion against her capture and subsequent romance and reflects Janacek’s ultimately optimistic view of the cycle of life and death.

Vaughan Williams’ emotionally charged one-act opera Riders to the Sea (1937), based on J M Synge’s play, reflects a very different view of the world.  The lives of the central Donegal family are dominated by a cruel and impersonal nature and the cycle of life is hopeless and brutal.  The opera is paired with an uplifting story from Gustav Holst in which the heroine defies Death and restores her husband to life.  Holst’s rarely seen one-act opera, Sāvitri (1916), is based on a traditional story from the epic Indian poem the Mahabharata.

The British Youth Opera season opens on September 5 with three performances of The Cunning Little Vixen and continues with two performances of Vaughan Williams’s Riders to the Sea / Gustav Holst’s Sāvitri (from September 9), all at the Peacock Theatre, London.