An Operatic Adaptation by John Whittaker

'The Three Wayfarers'

An Operatic Adaptation by John Whittaker

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 'The Three Wayfarers' - Is a one-act chamber opera by John Whittaker. It is based on the play of the same name by Thomas Hardy. (Duration approx. 50 minutes) 12-14 Singers. Scored for Flute, 2 Clarinets, Bassoon, String Quintet and Double-Bass. The piece is intended to be a fusion of folk-music and operatic music  - for trained singers who can deliver a style of singing sympathetic to folk-song. It contains one short folk-song and some traditional dance tunes from Hardy's own tune book.  It is similar to the musical sound-world established by Vaughan Williams in 'Hugh The Drover'. The libretto devised by the composer is based on the play script, but also utilising aspects of the original story by Thomas Hardy. 'The Three Wayfarers' was first performed by Opera Anywhere ( ) in February 2015 (director: Paula Chitty) in a workshop performance at the Unicorn Theatre, Abingdon.  Unfortunately funding was not forthcoming for the opera to have further more polished performances, but the video of the workshop performance is available to those interested in this contemporary operatic Hardy adaptation.

John lives in Reading, Berkshire, UK.  He has written much choral and vocal music (including a large number of Hardy settings for baritone and piano), a string quartet, some short pieces for orchestra and two one-act operas. His choral works and his Shakespeare settings have been performed in many countries including the UK, The USA, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden. 

A workshop performance of 'The Three Wayfarers' opera can be viewed by visiting: Operas – John Whittaker (

He would be most interested to hear any comments about 'The Three Wayfarers' from Society members. (Please bear in mind that the video is only of a workshop performance that was prepared in a very short space of time and the sound balance on the recording is far from perfect.) 

John can be contacted at:

© John Whittaker 2019


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