…and gradually one of the stones became a woman!

An Opera in Three Acts

Music by George Lloyd 1913–1998

Libretto by William A. C. Lloyd

Not staged since its première in 1934 and short London run in 1935, George Lloyd’s Iernin tells the story of a maiden turned to stone by puritanical priests, only to reawaken hundreds of years later and ensnare the heart of a betrothed Cornish nobleman. This is set against the backdrop of a soon to be occupied Cornwall and the struggle of its leader and people to retain their independence from the Saxon overlords. It is a story about the defence of the weak and society’s fear of change, but above all our fear of and fascination with the unknown. Written during the rise of German National Socialism and alongside the abdication of Edward VIII, the story also strikes some fortuitous chords with one of the most dramatic periods in British history, a period which would change George Lloyd’s life forever. Surrey Opera now brings a fully staged Centenary production of Iernin to Croydon, and then home to Cornwall, where it was conceived and first performed. Written when the Cornish composer was still in his teens, Iernin is based on a Celtic legend inspired by the Nine Maidens stone circle near Penzance. Lloyd’s music dramatically evokes the mystical world of Iernin as well as the very human struggle of love and loyalty versus desire. This new production will be performed using Lloyd’s original scoring.

Conductor Jonathan Butcher
Director Alexander Hargreaves
Designer Ellan Parry
Lighting Designer Alan Bishop


Photographer: Peter Marr

Iernin Catharine Rogers
GerentEdward Hughes
Cunaide Felicity Buckland
Edyrn Håkan Vramsmo
Bedwyr James Harrison
A Priest Jon Openshaw
A Huntsman James Schouten
A Saxon ThaneRobert Trainer