Wide Sargasso Sea

The story behind the mad woman in the attic

score and text by Brian Howard, after the novel by Jean Rhys.

Jean Rhys’ novel Wide Sargasso Sea is a ‘prequel’ to, and subversion of, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. It charts Rochester’s exploits in the West Indies, his relationship with his Creole wife, Antoinette, who he brought back to England, and follows her tragic marriage, becoming the infamous ‘mad woman in the attic’.

Composer Brian Howard (Metamorphosis, Inner Voices, Whitsunday) took these ingredients and transformed a modern classic into a work of Debussy-like sensuality and extraordinary beauty.

“Once again, Chamber Made Opera has had the courage and imagination to challenge, tease and delight its audience”


Instrumentation 2 sop., 2 mez., 3 ten., bar., 2 vlns., vlc.,    fl/picc., ob/ca., cl., bass cl., sop. sax, ten. sax, bn/contrabn., hn., tpt.,    bass trb., perc.

1997: World Premiere, Merlyn Theatre, The Malthouse, (24 July – 2 August)