Swindon175 is delighted to announce its partnership with the Janice Thompson Performing Trust to stage a fantastic performance of ‘Brunel: The Little Man in the Tall Hat.’
The three shows on 9 and 10 July at STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway – are being performed as part of the Swindon175 celebrations.
“We are very proud to be able to have this wonderful community opera as part of our celebrations, and its such a perfect fit,” said Caroline Black Swindon175 Project Manager. “It was Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Daniel Gooch who put Swindon firmly on the map by bringing the Great Western Railway to the town. I’m so pleased that we are able to showcase our town’s many talented performers and this is truly a show not to be missed.”
Janice Thompson comented: “I am so excited to be bringing this unique and very special short opera to life again after 10 years and nowhere could be more appropriate to do this than at our own STEAM Museum.”
Originally commissioned by the JTPTrust in 2006 for the Brunel200 South West Celebrations in St Mark’s Church Swindon, this 2016 performance of the Opera features talented Adults and Children from the local community.
The Opera is composed by Betty Roe MBE with well researched libretto by Marion Lines.
It tells the story of the life of Isambard Kingdom Brunel as revealed through the chatter of the Swindon railway workers and their families as they travel on the annual ‘Trip’ train to St Ives in Cornwall.
Engineers Daniel Gooch, George Stephenson, JS Russell and Dr Lardner all make an appearance, played by local singers David Casey, Tom Mullins, Philip Jones and Shaun Holley.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel himself will be played by Royal Welsh College of Music student William Pearson, a young singer who played the Boy Brunel in the 2006 production. Brunel’s family are played by local soloists Natalie Chequer, Stephanie Walsh and Lydiard Park Academy’s Vice Principal Jonathan Young.
Chorus singers include the Adult Community Singers, the JTPTrust Singers and dancers from Lydiard Park Academy. Other features of the Opera include an appearance of a real model train courtesy of the Blunsdon and Cricklade Railway Society.
Join the factory workers and their families on their holiday as they make way towards St Ives, complete with the sounds of the iron foundery in Swindon Works, the ghosts of Box Tunnel and the excitement of crossing the Tamar Bridge into Cornwall.
This is an occasion not to be missed by opera lovers, railway buffs and the people of Swindon.
Tickets for the three performances at Steam Museum are on sale at the Wyvern Box Box Office 01793 524481 or www.swindontheatres.co.uk
Photos, top, Janice Thompson, director, with William Pearson who returns to play IK Brunel and Brodie Lee as the Boy Brunel, holding the programme from the 2006 production. Above, Brodie Lee and below, William Pearson