The student-led Summer Festival Opera presented the UK student première of The Enchanted Pig by Jonathan Dove last month in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

With performances on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 June 2017, students from a breadth of academic disciplines at the university came together to present this exciting work for the first time at a UK university. Dove’s music had already featured heavily in University Music concerts this academic year, and in December the university were pleased to welcome the composer to the Elgar Concert Hall to hear his music performed.

Christopher Morley of Opera and Birmingham Post gave the production a 5 star review, writing “… [the] libretto was delivered with clarity and rhythmic verve by this young and enthusiastic company, each individual enhancing this joyous experience. It’s invidious to single out praise for what was essentially a life-enhancing corporate presentation”.

Full cast on stage

The Summer Festival Opera is part of the wider Summer Festival of Music, organised jointly with the Music Department and its students across the summer term every year. Past operatic performances in the Summer Festival have included Britten’s Albert Herring, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, and Gluck’s Iphigenia in Aulis.

Cast pose with composer and conductor

Composer Jonathan Dove and Librettist Alasdair Middleton meet the cast