Composer Tim Benjamin gives us a masterclass in how to create a one-handed opera twice over in his Life Stories. Rest in Peace, inspired by a short story from Chekhov (Life in Questions and Exclamations, 1882), lets us hear the vivid flickers of a decaying, addled mind, fascinating both for their intensity and their randomness. If Harold Pinter had ever written an opera, this would surely be it. Benjamin’s Silent Jack, a response to the legend of real-life Lady Katherine Ferrers, transports us to the eighteenth century: beautifully written and superbly sung and acted by Taylor Wilson, Silent Jack is a joy from start to finish.
People Watch, the third and final Little Opera from pioneering charity Streetwise Opera, dramatises the experience of watching TV: our various sofa-squirming reactions can be highly entertaining, as anyone who has ever watched Gogglebox will know.