I understand

Jerwood Opera Open Session: The Conifers

Friday 24 Aug 2018 6pm

Joel Rust composer
David Troupes libretto

The Conifers is the story of the last four people waiting to get off of a dying planet. It’s not Earth but an artificial world, a piece of rock terraformed to grow trees: a planet-sized timber farm. But something has gone wrong, the trees aren’t growing anymore, and the company has decided to cut its losses and evacuate.

And so the last inhabitants of this minimal world converge on a hangar, waiting for the dropship which will carry them away: Anna, a logistics specialist bent on reuniting with her son; Thea, Anna’s assistant and the one most troubled by the loss of their strange home; Sean, a self-styled adventurer and the only one of the four born off-world; and Alis, an accountant desperate for civilization. But as the curtain comes up the ship is nine hours late, on a world where nothing is late.

Has the company abandoned them? Has something gone wrong? They tell stories to pass the time, until, amid their escalating alarm, the planet itself begins to assert its own strange music.

Developed as part of the Jerwood Opera Writing Programme Fellowships, supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation.