THE legend of the Chester Giants has had quite a renaissance over the past few years with their story set to music and hundreds of giants parading the city streets and beyond.
But never before has a community opera about the giants been performed on such a scale in Chester’s amphitheatre – until now.
On July 1, as part of the Big Sing!, Theatre in the Quarter will present Chester’s first ever giant opera, performed by a cast of hundreds, including Chester’s A Handbag of Harmonies, five Cheshire choirs, seven schools and the Homegrown Dance Theatre Company, making it the largest musical production MBNA Chestival will have ever seen.
Theatre in the Quarter artistic director Matt Baker said: “After recently being involved with the giant projects, I was inspired by the work that they do and the way that they bring communities together.
“I wanted to create a musical performance that would also bring communities together to share the story of the giants with those that live in Chester and beyond.”
The giant opera will tell the story of two giants who travel the world only to find that love and happiness can be found closer to home, in Chester.
Many of Chester’s 14 feet high giants will feature in the opera and will act out scenes of the opera.
One of the songs is called Be The Best You Can Be and will be performed by Chester school children.
Since an initial taste of the opera was performed as part of the BBC Music Nation Weekend in March this year at the amphitheatre, audience member and GB Paralympian footballer Matthew Dimbylow, who heard the song for the first time, has now taken the song on as the Paralympic football team’s anthem.
Matt Baker said: “When Matthew heard the song he said that he was completely moved by it and that it encompassed everything the Olympics is about.
“I am hugely delighted and honoured that he should choose a song from the giant opera for the team anthem and we hope that the song will inspire many more people who come to watch the giant opera as part of MBNA Chestival.”
He added: “More than 3,000 people came to see a taster of the opera in March, so I really hope many more will come along to see the whole story.”
The giant opera, written by Matt Baker and Helen Newall, will last for 40 minutes and is completely free to attend. Performances will take place at the Chester Amphitheatre at 1pm and 4pm on Sunday, July 1.
Chester Festivals director Tracy Lynn added: “We are so excited to facilitate the very first performance of the giant opera within the MBNA Chestival programme. The opera will appeal to an audience of all ages and will highlight Chester’s giants and heritage to the rest of the UK.”
For further information visit www.chesterfestivals.co.uk.