For a while, when I first went to The Netherlands, I played Baritone sax in a big band. I wrote them an experimental piece for them, which they hated.

However the conductor liked it and asked me to write a piece for the Dutch Tuba Quartet, who had been invited to play at the World Tuba Convention, so started my “classical” composition career. Next I wrote pieces for a saxophone quartet in which I played. Then I wrote a suite for a ballet with 10 instruments. Gradually I wrote pieces for larger and larger ensembles, progressing up to a full symphony orchestra.

Hastings composer Keith Beal presented the world premiere his new opera Merlin at St Mary In The Castle in Hastings. Merlin was performed by Ensemble Orquestra and Hastings Philharmonic on Saturday October 27.

In Keith’s opera Merlin is a 2,000 years old dysfunctional legendary magician and Nimue a poor young Welsh girl on the make. He has spent his life trying to do good for mankind, but everything has gone wrong. There follows a story of sexual awakening, intrigue, incest, failed magic and war based loosely on some of the many legends of Merlin from England, Wales and other parts of Europe.

A tragic ending allows Nimue as the ‘Lady of the Lake’ to join Merlin in the ether. Counter-intuitively, the baritone, Merlin, got the girl!   >>>