THE HALL OF TIME


Writing the libretto for Brief Encounter was a labour of love. The film is a great favourite of mine, and the work of Noël Coward, who wrote the screenplay, has always fascinated me. As playwright, lyricist and performer, Coward’s wit, wisdom and open-heartedness inspired him to create characters that engage our sympathies and our intelligence in equal measure. He laughs at his characters and loves them, too, but never falls into mockery on the one hand or sentimentality on the other. We laugh with him, but with a kindness and understanding that we learn from his treatment of them. Coward’s prose is brilliant. He writes naturalistic dialogue heightened by the rhythms of a natural lyricist. But prose it is and as such quite unsingable in its raw form. - READ MORE

SYNOPSIS OF THE OPERA


The action of the opera takes place in the railway station at Milford and other nearby loca-tions in England in the mid-1930s.

ACT ONE

Laura Jesson and Alec Harvey sit in the refreshment room of the railway station with her chatty acquaintance Dolly, who has invited herself to the table. Laura and Alec sit politely while Dolly prattles on until Alec’s train arrives and he leaves them. The express train passes through the station and Laura disappears momentarily, looking ill when she returns.
During the train ride home, Laura protests that she is not feeling well and Dolly gives her some peace. Laura imagines a time when the agony she is feeling will pass. - READ MORE