Librettist & Producer: Adam Strickson
Composed by: Lauren Redhead
Supported by: Arts Council England
Performance at stage@leeds, at the University of Leeds 2011
Green Angel is an adaptation of Alice Hoffman’s haunting 2003 novella for young people produced in the year after 9/11,
partly as a response to that event and her own experience of a life-threatening illness at that time.
Alice Hoffman, who gave her generous permission for this adaptation, is a best selling American novelist, and the screenwriter
of Independence Day. This opera is based on the structure of fourteenth century Japanese Nō plays. Nō plays bring to life one person’s inner emotional journey, mirrored by the changing seasons of the year. They often quote from existing poetry to enlarge and intensify the experience; this libretto draws on English medieval sources, and German Lieder, in a similar fashion.
The section of the libretto, the 'prelude', introduces an old woman, who asks Ash about her life and what has happened to her family. Ash angrily dances her grief. The old woman gives Ash a gift of birdseed, which helps to take her life in a new direction.