This Year

We are thrilled to be welcoming back Russell Hepplewhite and Helen Eastman (composer and librettist of 2016 production ‘The Price’) with a newly commissioned opera, EVER YOUNG.


Ever Young

Music by Russell Hepplewhite
Libretto by Helen Eastman

Deep in the secret laboratory of a research institute, a genius young scientist is about to announce her discovery…but is the world ready for it?

Experiments are bubbling everywhere in the mysterious research institute. The genius young CEO, Professor Young, calls together the press: a new drug that can stop human ageing. She confesses that although she may look 25, she is actually 63 and has been secretly taking the drug herself for years. News of Young’s discovery spreads around the world and everyone wants the anti-aging treatment…But a small group of teenagers aren’t so sure. How does a world work if no one grows old or dies? Is it fair that some can afford the drug and some can’t? And what should they do? Parliament is now a pack of children, and their teachers and parents are getting younger every day. If protest doesn’t work, how far are they prepared to go to stop Professor Young? Exploring the consequences of what can happen when a youth-obsessed society goes too far, EVER YOUNG is an exciting story that will entertain the whole family.

Russell Hepplewhite, Composer

Russell Hepplewhite studied at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, and the Royal College of Music in London.  Operas for young audiences include Laika The Spacedog, Shackleton’s Cat; and Silver Electra – all commissioned by English Touring Opera, and all critically acclaimed.  Laika The Spacedog won Best Production at the Armel International Opera Festival in Hungary, was performed at Avignon Opera in France, and has a new production currently in creation at Opera Nouvel in Switzerland.  Other operas include The Casket Girl for Jubilee Opera, and The Price for W11 Opera.  His musical Moonfleet ran at the Salisbury Playhouse in 2018; his choral music is published by Oxford University Press and Banks Music Publications, and his music is regularly performed by choirs across the country.  Future commissions include an opera for babies to watch, a song cycle for children to sing, and a large-scale musical.

Helen Eastman,  Librettist

Helen is a freelance writer and director of theatre, opera (and occasionally circus). She trained at LAMDA after graduating with the Passmore Edwards Prize from Oxford University. She has a doctorate from King’s College London. Early in her career she specialized in new writing, then spent three years directing opera in England and Ireland, before making a substantial body of theatre work for children, in both subsidized and commercial sectors. She was Producer of the Onassis Programme at Oxford University from 2005-2011, commissioning, developing and producing new international theatre and is now Associate Artist of Oxford University’s APGRD. As a writer Helen has written a wide-range of plays and librettos including commissions from The Royal Society, Oxford Playhouse, Chester Performs, Westminster Archives, ETO, Live Canon and Sheffield Theatres and adapted work for the stage from other genres (children’s books, television). She is an award winning poet.

Check out our 2019 performance dates or buy tickets HERE