"Ūhte – (Old Saxon) – lit. “the hour before dawn"
Written when McPherson was just 19, Ūhte is an original Opera-Film collaboration between the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, BBC Scotland, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Martyn Brabbins.
The libretto and music are by Henry McPherson, with screenplay and film-story by Ray Tallan. The principal roles were played by David Horton, Elliott Mockett, and Kenneth Reid.
Commissioned as part of the conservatoire's PLUG at 10 festival, the work received positive critical acclaim, and was heralded as a landmark student collaboration between the institution's Opera and Film departments. In 2017, the film was nominated for the inaugural Scottish Awards for New Music, in the category of "Best Recorded New Work"
The libretto for the work is a text-collage of imagery and fragments from Shakespeare's Tempest and W.B. Yeats' 'The Stolen Child', interspersed with nonsensical passages.
Picc./Fl. | Ob. | Cl./B.Cl. | Bsn. | Hn. | Tpt. | Tbn. | Tba.
Perc. x2/3: Rain St., Ratch., B.D., S.D., T-t., Glock., Xyl., Mar., Cymb., Temp. Bl., Wind ch., Vibras., Flex.)
soloists: Ten., Bari., Mezzo. Chorus: c. 30 SATB
Premiere: PLUG, Glasgow, Scotland, May 2016: BBC Scottish Symphony Orch., Martyn Brabbins, BBC Scotland
Please note, this film contains content which some may find distressing.