The official première of Dr Susannah Self's Sea Requiem took place in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral on April 1st, attended by over 200 people. It raised £701 for the RNLI and received lengthy ovations. Soloists Catherine Joule (soprano), Christopher Lemmings (tenor) and Julian Godlee (bass) were joined by the newly-formed North Sea Voices and Orchestra in their inaugural performance. Dr Self conducted and also sang the mezzo solos. After the interval soloists, choir and orchestra returned to perform Fauré's ever-popular Requiem, in a new arrangement by Michael Christie matching the orchestration of the Sea Requiem. Prior to the official première, the entire programme was given a 'preview performance' at St Martin's Church, Hindringham, where it raised £555 from a generous and enthusiastic local audience. The money raised in Hindringham will go towards the Tower and Bells Restoration Fund for St Martin's.
The Sea Requiem is published by Composers' Edition, and can be found here:
Première at the Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, April 1st 2023:
October 19-20, 2018 · QUILT SONG - new opera premièred in Birmingham
Susie Self’s new opera, QUILT SONG, had its première in Birmingham on October 19th and 20th 2018, 100 years since the premiere of John Drinkwater’s play Abraham Lincoln, and on the same stage, that of the Old Rep Theatre. Drinkwater’s play went on to unexpected success in London and America, making his fortune. The subject forms part of this exciting new opera, which aims to refashion the genre into one which no longer carries the onerous baggage of elitism, snobbery and the dead hand of tradition, aspects which, surprisingly, characterise much modern opera even today. Audiences at the two performances gave the opera a warm reception, with comments such as "wonderful" and "truly special and powerful".
September 1 - 4, 2016 · The Butt - opera premièred in Vienna
The Butt, a sensational new opera by Susie Self, premiered in Vienna in September 2016, as part of the Musiktheatretage Wien festival of new music theatre works. Based on the book of the same name by Will Self, the opera is scored for six singers, two cellos, percussion and piano. Susie herself conducted, and the production was directed by Thomas Desi, who also runs the festival.
Tom Brodzinski, the hapless protagonist, is on holiday and enjoying his last cigarette prior to giving up. Unthinkingly, he flicks the glowing butt over the balcony of his holiday apartment, unfortunately landing on the scalp of an old man on a sun lounger below. This apparently trivial act sets in motion a set of consequences that no one could have foreseen...or did they? A web of deceit and skullduggery trap Tom in an ever-tightening grip, until the final tragic denoument.