In one of the defining moments of the campaign for women’s suffrage, Emily Wilding Davison was fatally injured after she fell under the hoofs of the King’s horse while protesting at the Epsom Derby, exactly a century ago. The dramatic event was witnessed by a crowd of 300,000 racegoers including King George V and Queen Mary, and is now the subject of a new opera to be performed in West Yorkshire in July 2013.
Inspired by Emily’s story, award-winning composer Tim Benjamin’s new opera recounts Davison’s actions as a Suffragette and the way in which the establishment tried to quell the Suffragette movement.
Tim comments: “At times harrowing and always moving, Emily is a powerful drama and brings home the great struggle and personal sacrifice for ‘Votes for Women’ undertaken by Suffragettes like Emily Davison.“
The world premiere production runs at the Hippodrome Theatre, Todmorden, West Yorkshire, from 4th July to 6th July 2013.
Tim Benjamin has won several major awards for his work, including (at the age of 16) the BBC Young Musician of the Year Composer’s Award. He has composed several one-act operas, most recently for Marseille Opera/CNIPAL (The Birthday Cake), and Emily is his first full-length opera.
Benjamin’s music has been broadcast and performed at concert halls and festivals around the world, often by well known performers including the London Sinfonietta and the BBC Philharmonic. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Anthony Gilbert, graduating with a first class degree, and received a doctorate at Oxford University, where he studied with Robert Saxton. He moved to Todmorden, West Yorkshire in 2009.