Skip to content

The Grief Opera

When rock musician George Linacre died by suicide, his father Nigel started to write. And Vladimir Miller, a contemporary-music band leader, began composing using George’s bass rhythms. Together, they created the Grief Opera.

Mr. Linacre is business coach and occasional poet who didn’t see his son’s suicide coming. George died on November 19, 2021, aged 32. His father’s need is for something good to come from his death.

The Grief Opera shines a spotlight on suicide, the most common cause of death in young men, and the consequent, harrowing grief. Its creators hope it will enable people to have potentially life-saving conversations and to work with their grief. Mr. Miller lost a band member to suicide earlier in his career.

Rather than being limited by a single genre, the Grief Opera uses classical and jazz forms, and is part-opera, part-concert, and part-musical. It moves from a father’s last conversations with his son, through the shock of the news, to the challenges of continuing to exist in grief. It is a journey from shock and pain to profound love.

At its preview performance in October 2022, it received a standing ovation and was described as “heart-breaking but hopeful” and “harrowing but ultimately uplifting”.

Nigel Linacre

Nigel Linacre is a coach, singer and poet who is Founder Director of the water charity WellBoring. He was awarded the BEM in the 2023 New Year’s Honours List.

Nigel Linacre standing, reading lyrics
Vladimir Miller and Nigel Linacre standing by piano, laughing

Vladimir Miller

Vladimir Miller is an Anglo-Russian contemporary music band leader who performs internationally and leads Vlad Miller and Notes from the Underground.

Bring Him Back

The Grief Opera

Group photo of Grief Opera personnel in church, some holding instruments

Meg, Vladimir, Gavin, David, Nigel Linacre, Rebecca and Susan

Neil Latchman is an internationally renowned classical opera singer who has performed the works of Bellini, Verdi and Donizetti.

David Shepard has performed for concerts, recitals, choral works and musicals and plays with the North Wiltshire Symphony Orchestra.

Gavin Macrae sings with the Village Singers and at St Andrew’s Church. He lost his son, Owen, to suicide, some years ago.

George Linacre was a bass guitarist with prog rock band Eschar. He died on 19th November 2021, aged 32.

Keri Farish sings as a solo artist in a duo called Scarlett, and in Gandalf’s Fist, a prog rock group. She was previously lead vocalist in South Quay.

Nigel Shires has played with the Bath University Chamber Choir, Borderline, Julie Hayes Band, and North Wiltshire Symphony Orchestra.

Sara Stagg leads the Bath Concertino and the North Wiltshire Symphony Orchestra, and is lead violinist of the Bath Spa Quartet.

Rebecca Snell has written music for the stage, including opera, and performs as a soloist in her Church and with the Village Singers.

Stephen Plews is a jazz artist and classical composer who formed ASC Records for contemporary jazz and Prima Facie Records for premiere recordings by British classical composers.

Susan Norton has recorded for the BBC, the Camerata and the Cordoba Orchestras and was a founding member of the I. Q. String quartet.

Tom Linacre is an occasional singer-songwriter who brings us the voice of his brother George.

Wendy Clark leads the Newbury Symphony Orchestra and plays violin in the Highclere String Quartet and the Beaudesert Piano Quartet.

GRIEF OPERA On the BBC

Subscribe to youtube