Trinity Laban Vocal head takes lead in new Jean Rhys opera

Trinity Laban's Head of Vocal Department, Linda Hirst, will take centre stage in a new Elfyn Jones opera, "The Trial of Jean Rhys" as part of the Riverside Theatre's Tete-A-Tete festival in August.

When Jean Rhys lost a husband she didn't always notice straight away. Married three times, she was all but consumed by drink and self-destruction as her masterpiece Wide Sargasso Sea slowly took shape. "The Trial of Jean Rhys" portrays her inelegant struggle and looks into the darkness at the heart of one of the twentieth century's most extraordinary writers.

A lifelong fan of Rhys' work, Linda said she was delighted to play the role of this renowned author as her personal life was completely overshadowed by the creative vortex she was in: "My first ever BBC recital, 'Antoinette Alone', which was written for me by Martin Dalby, was inspired by the Wide Sargasso Sea; and Elfyn's music really suits my mezzo soprano voice."

Words come courtesy of Eleanor Knight, and the other performers are Sarah Denbee, Tom McKenna, Julia Weatherley, James Williams and Stephan Ulberini.

"The Trial of Jean Rhys" runs from 9-10 August.

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