“First do no harm”, every doctor says. But what happens when a patient’s body is so extraordinary, his corpse becomes an object of desire – a trophy? Giant tells the true tale of surgeon John Hunter and his obsession with Charles Byrne – a man he would ultimately betray in one of the most disturbing acts in the era of the grave robbers.
Written for five voices, Giant uses 18th-century instruments, live electronics, and bespoke music machines as it vividly recalls the events surrounding Byrne’s death: an extraordinary story that resonates through the ages.
Giant is a new opera from composer Sarah Angliss, poet Ross Sutherland, and director Sarah Fahie.
Commissioned by Britten Pears Arts in 2018, supported through the Jerwood Opera Writing Fellowships.