Into the Little Hill

Commissioned for Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008


This Spring the Liverpool Culture Company is delighted to present

Into the Little Hill, a lyric tale in two parts, which will receive its UK Premiere and its only two UK performances.

Into the Little Hill is an extensive collaboration between of one of Britain’s most formidable composers George Benjamin and British renowned dramatist Martin Crimp. The result is an intimate and subtle piece, with a lyrical yet spare libretto, scored for just soprano and contralto who play both male and female roles. The soloists Hilary Summers and Anu Komsi are joined by 15 instrumentalists from one of the world’s leading ensembles of new music, the Ensemble Modern.

For Into the Little Hill, The Pied Piper gets a political updating as a minister tries to reassure a restless voting public by commissioning an extermination of rats.

When a stranger offers to lead the rats away in exchange for money, a deal is struck. The rats, true to the stranger’s word, are taken away but the minister breaks his promise and refuses to pay. His betrayal does not go unpunished, however, and the faceless stranger leads all of the town’s children away forever ‘into the little hill’.

Into the Little Hill has already been performed in many cities, including the Festival d’Automne, Paris and The Lincoln Center, New York to great critical acclaim:

“… it was the eerie beauty and uncanny originality of the music that made the dominant impression on me. The scoring is remarkable.” (The Sunday Times)

“… brilliantly original ….George Benjamin’s score is a miracle …..”
(The Daily Telegraph)

George Benjamin, composer said “Martin and I wanted to tell our tale in the most direct and authentic way possible – not an easy task in the age of television and cinema. Our solution – where the story-telling and multiple roles are shared between just two singers. All those involved tonight in singing, playing and directing were in place – and closely consulted – before a note of the score was written.”

Fiona Gasper, Executive Producer, Liverpool Culture Company added “Into the Little Hill is one of the highlights of the 08 calendar and we are extremely proud to be hosting the only UK dates of this extraordinary opera. We are sure that people from all over the region and beyond will take advantage of this unique opportunity to see this exciting new work.”

Venue: Pacific Road Arts Centre, Birkenhead
Dates: April 17-18 2008
Time: 7.30 pm

Tickets 0151 647 0752
Tickets £22.50