Beekeeper – Opera
Beekeeper is a multi-faceted opera with some elements of dance and film.
Libretto and workshops were developed through OperaGenesis at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.
The opera was a collaboration with poet Selima Hill and sculptor Bill Woodrow.
Beekeeper explores the complex relationship between a beekeeper and his wife, following the death by fire of their infant daughter many years earlier. This crumbling relationship is starkly juxtaposed with the colourful, magically intertwined symbiotic relationship between the beekeeper and his colony of bees.
The opera consists of four central operatic sung characters, with limited peripheral elements of dance (2 characters) and film; orchestral music for small ensemble; pre-recorded male chorus (x 9); spoken voice and sound design.
Beekeeper paints a dynamic and intense picture of what is possible in contemporary performing arts, whilst more importantly presenting a compelling, rich and moving story in a stimulating, new and fantastical way. It also incorporates strong visual elements with stage design originating through sculpture. Beekeeper is a sensual experience to trigger the senses, using rich imagery, vibrant colours, and a carefully chosen fine balance of singers, musicians and dancers. Artistic excellence and a totally original approach underpin the work.
Below is a selection of images of Bill Woodrow’s sculptures on the subject of Beekeeper which acted as the initial visual springboard for the narrative and libretto.