Mike and Clair Stones

My wife and I were privileged to attend "From Darkness to Light". We would like to congratulate all those concerned in staging what was a very moving and thought-provoking occasion. Readings were aptly chosen and well delivered and music performed to a high level. Above all it was entirely appropriate that surviving members of the DLI, there when the camp was liberated, should be part of the parade. Moving also were the lines of children, each carrying shoes and the pile of footwear assembled at the font symbolising the victims.

Truly it inspired us to believe that such evils should never be forgotten and that every effort be made to ensure that the like never happens again.

Massacre of the Innocents is an integrated dramatic cantata of reconciliation and forgiveness, by Julian Phllips and librettist Stephen Plaice to be conducted by Alistair Dawes

The work is a contemporary response to the destruction of the Czech village of Lidice in 1942 in which all menfolk of the village were killed, the women transported to concentration camps and most of the children gassed. 

News of the atrocity spread rapidly. Funds for re-building the village quickly began to be raised during WW2, by English miners in Durham, Staffordshire and Cumbria and subsequently, by mining communities around the world. 

The piece will explore cultural and personal guilt and forgiveness, embodied in the living relationships between the characters and intertwining the dynamics of past and present to reveal the enduring power of reconciliation in resolving today's international conflicts.

IO has received enthusiastic expressions of support and interest from Chichester Cathedral, Durham Cathedral, the Prague-based Platform of European Memory and Conscience, the Centre for International Cultural Exchange (Germany) and the Bremen Reconciliation Institute.

The new work will have a suggested scoring for a chamber group of instrumentalists making the work easily adaptable to a wide variety of spaces and will embrace participatory opportunities for all age ranges. 

The solo voices will reflect the main protagonists, with smaller roles taken from a semi - chorus of experienced singers. The main chorus is written for singers of all ages and abilities from the community who represent groups from Germany, the Czech Republic and Durham.

InterOpera is delighted to announce the award of Phase 1 Research and Development funding from  Arts Council England. As part of this phase, an exciting new short commission from Julian Philips and Stephen Plaice, especially written for Ushaw choir, will form part of an exciting IO concert later this year.