A brand new opera is opening this week, and its military involvement isn’t just confined to the stage.
Silverbirch explores the effect of war on relationships, combining stories from previous conflicts up to the present day.
The opera combines poetry from World War 1 with the first-hand perspective of a modern day soldier.
Both veterans and military spouses make up part of the 180 cast members – so they too feel very connected to the piece.
For one man, in particular, it’s been a very personal experience, with his own story now playing out on stage; that of Iraq war veteran Jamie Wheeler:
‘The process has been like therapy for me…I’ve seen it as an opportunity to open up a little bit, to help myself and to help people who have been through similar circumstances’.
Silverbirch has been called a ‘people’s opera’, a celebration of the way in which it’s brought the local military and civilian community in the area together.
Silverbirch opens this weekend at the Garsington Opera.