Pincher Martin

Libretto and music by Oliver Rudland and based on the novel Pincher Martin by William Golding.

Set during World War II, Pincher Martin is an existential re-telling of the ‘Don Giovanni’ fable. On a lonely islet in the middle of the Atlantic, a stranded naval officer is forced to re-live events from his ruthlessly selfish past. Through his memories and hallucinations, we learn of the terrifying actions which led him to this fateful pass.

Oliver's latest opera, Pincher Martin, based on the novel by William Golding, was staged at the RCM Britten Theatre in July 2014 to great critical acclaim: 

'Rudland's opera revealed a score of powerful imagery.' (Opera Magazine).

'This is an eloquent, succinct opera... In music and design..., Pincher Martin pinched and gripped. This opera deserves to live.' (The Times: ★★★★)

'Rudland appear[s] to have achieved that rare and valuable object: a contemporary work that is both challenging yet accessible. Despite its disturbing subject matter, Pincher Martin is lyrical, inventive, and above all a thoroughly engaging work' (Bachtrack: ★★★★)

Judy Carver, William Golding's daughter, expressed her admiration for the adaptation as follows:

'Oliver Rudland’s impressive and vigorous operatic adaptation of my father’s novel Pincher Martin is a really good exposition of this complex book.  Rudland’s music, always dramatically focused but often beguilingly lyrical, provides an allusiveness and thematic resonance to rival that of language.  The production was very carefully realised, in a way that was both innovative and respectful of the novel, and visually very exciting, and the musical performers achieved a standard of excellence which would have gratified my father.  A wonderful experience.'

If you are interested in producing Pincher Martin, please contact us here.