This Year



Music by Julian Grant
Libretto by Christina Jones

Under the watchful eye of the station clock commuters rush to catch the last train home. But it is not only the present that leaves its footprint on the bustling concourse.

In the empty station, moonlight reveals shadowtracks gently vibrating with the arrival of the Necropolis train, bringing ghosts and memories back down the line. The ghosts must leave by daybreak, but when the train breaks down Victorian children, soldiers, evacuees and suffragettes all become stranded in the present. Will the Ascot party and the football fans see them and who is the strange lady standing patiently under the clock?

We are thrilled to be reviving our “fresh and poignant” (Daily Telegraph) Shadowtracks, by Julian Grant, composer of W11 Opera’s 40th anniversary work, Original Features

 Julian Grant, Composer

Julian Grant is a composer, writer, educator, music journalist and broadcaster.

He has composed 20 operas of various lengths and sizes which have been performed by English National Opera, The Royal Opera, Almeida Opera, Mecklenburgh Opera and Tétè-a-Tétè, and has won the National Opera Association of America’s New Opera prize and been nominated for an Olivier Award. Commissions for W11 Opera include, Shadowtracks (2007) and for our 40th anniversary season Original Features (2011).

From 2002-7 he was Director of Music at St. Paul’s Girls’ School, London, a post previous occupied by Gustav Holst and Vaughan-Williams. In Hong Kong, he hosted a classical music radio show and has also lived in Tokyo. From 2007-10 he lived in Beijing, where he worked with the Beijing New Music Ensemble, and attempted to master the Yang Qin (Butterfly Harp).

In 2012, his Cultural Olympiad commission Hot House, devised by Gareth Malone, was premiered at the Royal Opera House. He currently lives in Princeton and New York where he has an ongoing relationship with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. Recent premieres include a work for Buskaid Soweto Strings based on dances by the 18th century British-African Ignatius Sancho, and a new collaboration with pianist Melvyn Tan. His chamber opera, with librettist Mark Campbell The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr Burke & Mr Hare, a co-commission with Music Theatre Group and Boston Lyric Opera, premiered in Boston November 2017.

Christina Jones,  Librettist

Christina has written libretti for many opera and music theatre pieces.

For Babel Music Theatre, a company she founded with composer Warren Wills to fuse the skills of actors and opera singers, she has written prize-winning libretti, including Pin-Money Opera, House of Obsession, Street Walker and Wedlock, The Opera.

She has also collaborated with Derek Barnes on Light Angel, Dark Angel and Roxanna Panufnik, on Timepiece and has also written the book and libretto for Streetwise Opera’s large-scale community opera, Time Flows: A Handel and Hendrix Experience.

Julian and Christina have worked together many times, notably on Heroes Don’t Dance, a large-scale community opera for the ROH, A Very Private Beach for ENO Studios and two short operas for Tête a Tête, Platform 10 and Odd Numbers.

In 2010 she was delighted to have been asked to create another opera, Original Features, with Julian Grant, for W11’s 40th Anniversary.

Her opera directing work includes Carmen, Aida and The Magic Flute which she adapted for educational tours and Il Trovatore at the Gulbenkian Theatre.

Working under her stage name Tina Jones, she has many credits as an actor, including the RSC, Old Vic, Young Vic, West End musicals and television roles. She is also music theatre and drama assessor for Trinity College of Music.