an ensemble piece for young professional singer/actors




Libretto: Christina Jones

Commissioned by The Knack, ENO Baylis, English National Opera

On a beach in Italy, recently taken away from the locals as part of a huge luxury hotel chain, a society wedding is disrupted by a shipwreck of illegal immigrants. 

Premiere: 24 May 2004. ENO Works, Old Shoreditch Library, London


Artistic director - Mary King

Director - Tim Welton

Designer - Laura McEwen

Lighting - Adam Crosthwaite

Choreographer - Maxine Braham

Conductor -Gerry Cornelius


The Knack Ensemble

Security people – medium voices (minimum three) 

Four locals – SSA male voice – all medium range 

Lucia* – hotel manageress – mezzo/jazz voice

Bridegroom* – counter-tenor, or baritone

Best Man - baritone
Bride* – dramatic soprano
Bride’s mother - mezzo

Three Bridesmaids - SSA

Press: Reporter
Press: Sound
Press: Camera – all medium voices, male or female

Birdwatchers – male and female, groups or solos 

Birdwatcher couple A* (soprano)
Birdwatcher couple B* (tenor)

Refugee 1* - soprano 

Refugee 2* – alto

Hotel Owners – minimum three – medium voices
Echoes – chorus+ solo opportunities – to include all of the above voices

nb: A Very Private Beach is conceived as an ensemble piece for young professional singers/actors. The advanced vocal parts are marked with an asterisk – the voice types and indeed sex of many of the performers can be flexible, depending on availability.

Oboe + Cor-Anglais, Clarinet+ Bass Clarinet, 'Cello, Harp, Piano