Thurs 30 November – Sun 3 December 2017

Mad King Suibhne is a new opera by Composer and Music Director Noah Mosley originally commissioned by Bury Court Opera to celebrate their tenth anniversary and premièred in March this year.  Based on an Irish poem that was probably compiled in the twelfth century, it explores what happens after King Suibhne kills his childhood friend during a battle. He goes mad at the violence of the world and flees to the forest where he finds some comfort in nature and discovers that he is able to withstand certain temptations. He is coaxed back home by a supportive witch, his half-brother who tricks him, and the thoughts of his Queen Eorann. Back home he finally accepts the need to govern wisely the world he is faced with rather than despair at all of its imperfections.

The libretto of Mad King Suibhne brilliantly balances a fast-paced and magical world of animals, colour and the supernatural with more serious themes and the potentially destructive effects of an aggressively competitive society.  The conflict between wildness and civilization is ongoing but the original poem and the opera deal with an even more important theme, our desire to make the world a better place and how hard it is to act out that desire.

Accompanied by a ten-piece orchestra, the opera was originally designed to be performed in a barn setting with internal wooden structures at Bury Court Opera.  The piece will take place in our 13th century monastic barn continuing a legacy started by the remarkable 140ft installation as context for the set.

The opera was 18 months in the making, from initial discussions through to the final piece.


‘Mosley has a gift for melody’ Opera Magazine



Thursday 30 November – Join us for an audience with the composer Noah Mosley and to watch the final dress rehearsal.  Doors open 6:30pm, performance at 7pm.  SOLD OUT

Friday 1 December – Opening night performance.  Doors open 6:30pm, performance at 7pm.

Saturday 2 December – Evening performance.  Doors open 6:30pm, performance at 7pm.

Performance duration is 1 hour 25 minutes (plus interval).

Coming from London?  We have it covered!  Conveniently only 1.5 hrs by train from London Waterloo, we offer a free chauffeur driven collection service to and from Tisbury station.  You can be back in town by midnight.  Want to make a weekend of it?  Our comprehensive list of local accommodation covers everything from rooms in some of the most quintessentially English country pubs to lodgings in a Queen Anne Rectory.  Email us for more at


A duet of champagne and boxes of our freshly prepared, handmade canapés are available during the interval by special request.  Delightfully pretty, these perfectly sized finger foods are ideal for one or two sharing and with a glass of champagne makes a memorable evening that much more special. 

The canapé box includes:

Rolled smoked salmon, zest and dill
Yakitori chicken, sesame, soy, ginger
Carpaccio beef, mustard creme, chive, chilli
Beetroot blini, mackerel pate, red current, pea shoot
Duck parfait, smoked duck, plum, zest
Blue cheese, balsamic onion, brioche
Chicory, blue cheese and walnut
Orange and cardamon polenta cake, pistachio, zest

We are offering box of 12 canapés and two glasses of champagne with a 20% discount when purchased in advance via our bookings page.

A Bury Court Opera & Messums Wiltshire collaboration.

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