British Firsts

An extraordinary opportunity to re-engage with contemporary opera writing, and to transform our perceptions of new music

Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream launches our British Firsts series, in Summer 2013, which has been made possible by a substantial grant from the Getty family. The series will present a total of five contemporary works over the next five years which will all be British stage premieres. This gives us an extraordinary opportunity to re-engage with contemporary opera writing, and to transform our perceptions of new music.

We hope to dispel two widespread misconceptions. Firstly that modern opera does not really exist. Nothing could be further from the truth. Music being written today embraces many different styles and is no longer afraid to be audience friendly.

This series, whose titles – from Wagner Dream to Alice in Wonderland reveal a love of fantasy and fairy tale, will show us that we can enjoy modern music and modern opera as part of our normal cultural life, just as we enjoy modern cinema, television, books or fashion. It will open the doors to the landscape of the new.

British Firsts is generously supported by members of the Getty Family

The British Firsts series includes:

Wagner Dream Jonathan Harvey 2013

La Chute de la Maison Usher Debussy (Completed by Robert Orledge) 2014

Usher House Gordon Getty 2014

Peter Pan Richard Ayres 2015

Alice in Wonderland Unsuk Chin 2017