BRUNEL: THE LITTLE MAN IN THE TALL HAT, JULY 2016: History + Information
An exciting revival of the unique September 2006 Youth Opera, ‘Brunel: The Little Man in the Tall Hat’ supported by Steam as a highlight of the Swindon 175 celebrations.
The JTPTrust originally performed this Opera as part of the Brunel 200 South West Celebrations. It is an hour long and it was our first major commission and collaboration with composer Betty Roe MBE and librettist Marian Lines. Originally we performed the opera at St Mark’s Church in the Railway Village. If you are not familiar with this Opera, it is the story of the life of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, seen through the lives of the Swindon railway workers and their families as they travel on the annual ‘Trip’ train to St Ives in Cornwall.
The young singers in the Opera are supported by an adult Community Chorus, who lead the choruses throughout the Opera and will be stationed on Choir Risers in full view of the audience. The chorus roles include the Swindon passengers on the ‘Trip’ Train, the Factory Workers, the Ghosts of Box and their Widows and also the London Men in the Chorus of ‘Bristol Men and London Men’.
William Pearson, now at the RWCMD, will be playing IK Brunel, Shaun Holley, Dr Lardner in the ‘Gauge War’ and David Casey will be playing Daniel Gooch. We will need men from the chorus to play George Stephenson, Mr Russell and Mr Burge.
Our 2006 performances were nationally acclaimed as ‘astounding’ in the ‘Church Times’ and ‘Singer’ magazines.