composer | conductor
The Canary Boys
opera-ballet outreach project
libretto by Luke Barnes
Commissioned by Constella OperaBallet, The Canary Boys was a national outreach programme collaborating with ex-miners, young people and amateur musicians to explore and showcase the UK's coal mining heritage. This work resulted in an opera-ballet scene which was performed at Sadler's Wells on the 4th July 2016, which was later expanded for a performance at the National Coal Mining Museum for England on the 2nd July 2017.
For more information about The Canary Boys, please click here.
MINING COMMUNITY chorus of children & adults
brass band & harp
Based on real stories, The Canary Boys follows the struggle for acceptance of a family who have walked from Scotland to the South of England to work in the pits. Upon their arrival, the local community rejects the miners, treating them as lower class citizens. The father, Ted, and sons, Howard and Tom, work in the mines, and both boys fall in love with Sarah, leading them to fight, and driving Tom out of the community. Time passes and Tom returns to the mining community, having lived in isolation and poverty. Howard on the other hand has been working hard to support the community, and helped to establish schools and the welfare club. Ted is sick and on his deathbed, at which point the brothers make peace, and the community welcomes Howard back.
This work is not published and not available for hire or purchase.