In October 2005 Glyndebourne Youth Opera 4 (GYO4) presented two companion pieces at Yo! International Youth Opera Festival Utrecht.
In both pieces there is a monster that tries to destroy something beautiful. In Strange Nature time destroys a garden. In Acis and Galatea a monster destroys love. Yet both tragedies result in a transformation and two symbols of immortality, a garden and a fountain.
Libretto by Lloyd Thomas – member of GYO4
Music by Katherine Gillham – ex-member of GYO4
Strange Nature was inspired by acclaimed opera, film and theatre director Derek Jarman and the garden he created on the hostile coastline at Dungeness in the shadow of a nuclear power station.
Acis and Galatea
Composed by Handel
Adapted by Clare Whistler and Jonathan Gill
'Adapting anything by someone else is fraught with difficulty, especially when one knows and loves the original! We first decided what story we wanted to tell and then set about extracting the music which best told that story. Our work with the Brighton and Hove Youth Philharmonic is ensemble based and that too played a part in the decisions we made. There were several movements that we knew we wanted in their entirety and others which simply provided narrative.' Jonathan Gill