A Christmas Carol

A Chamber Opera by Iain Bell. Libretto by Simon Callow.

Houston Grand Opera (2015)

Directed by Simon Callow

Lighting designed by Mark McCullough

Photography by Lynn Lane

We needed to animate the stage around a single performer who is singing throughout. Using black-theatre techniques and a splendid invisible chorus, the stairs and the furniture carried and orbited the narrator in a graceful choreography. This was a Christmas Carol stripped of cliché and recalling the stark expressionism of German graphic novels of the 1930s.

Nominated for the World Premiere award at the International Opera Awards 2015.

“Simon Callow and Laura Hopkins have created a staging to match the music's fluidity. The towering staircase […] became an ever more powerful presence as the opera progressed. Stylized chairs provided more than places for the narrator to sit. When they moved without visible help, the opera had a touch of the surreal.”

Houston Chronicle

“In a world where people are still homeless and children are still neglected and abused, A Christmas Carol should prick our consciences and inspire our compassion. The new HGO production does just that.”


“... a brilliant new opera by the young British composer Iain Bell.”

Financial Times