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Photography by Malcolm Johnson.



Composed by: Stephen Kilpatrick and choreographed by Balbir Singh.

Librettist & Producer: Adam Strickson

Bridlington Spa & University of Leeds 2011


This Wingbeats opera tells the story of Leeds girl Erin's rollercoaster journey from Bempton Cliffs to Flamborough on midsummer’s day 2011. She flies with birds, swims with fish and ultimately turns her whole life around.


The production, which premiered at The Spa, Bridlington, featured professional singers; the famous Voxare String Quartet from New York; Flamborough Primary School pupils; dancers from East Riding Youth Dance and the University of Leeds;

The Buckrose Concert Wind Band and ‘LightWeight’ – a stunning giant sphere pulsing with images of the coastal landscape.


The section of the libretto here is the beginning of the opera and the first two scenes. The prologue introduces Erin and her life in Leeds. In scene 1, she arrives at RSPB Bempton Cliffs and is prevented from committing suicide by Ilona, an RSPB guide. In scene 2, her healing journey of along the cliffs begins with an encounter with farm birds.  


The full libretto and a DVD of the performance are included in the book Wingbeats, which you can buy at Valley Press.

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