Back in 2004, we here at the Two Moors Festival decided it would be a good idea to commission an opera based on Henry Williamson’s much-loved novel Tarka the Otter – a great addition to the listings of Devon music festivals, we thought.
For those who haven’t read it, the book has great ties to this part of the world, set as it is in the very heart of Exmoor. Williamson wrote it after returning to Devon following WWI and his experiences at that time can be seen creeping into the work itself.
In 2006, our opera premiered at RHS Rosemoor and was so successful that Times critic Richard Morrison gave it a 4* review.
As part of our celebrations of the Two Moors Festival’s 15th anniversary, we’re proud to bring Tarka the opera back once more and hope that if you didn’t manage to see it last time, you are able to get tickets this year.
Composed by Stephen McNeff and directed by Thomas Guthrie, part of the original idea of putting on such an opera was – much like Noye’s Fludde – to involve the local communities as much as possible. Consequently, many children from local schools take to the stage as ducks and eels – and it’s certainly a sight to behold.
This year, the production will take place at Exeter Cathedral on October 21st – which audiences that saw it last time will no doubt appreciate, since the opera’s debut took place in a marquee!
Tickets cost between £10 and £35, and can be purchased via the Two Moors Festival box office. Make sure you book early as this is sure to be a sell-out show.
See what else is on at this year’s two-week event in October on our website.