Icarus is the third collaboration between David Blake and Keith Warner: an opera lasting 90 minutes without interval, for five principal singers and six Witnesses, who sing as commentators, crowd and chorus, and sixteen instrumentalists.
The action takes place in the present and concerns a journalist (mezzo) in a war-torn land, who is writing an article about a hostage (tenor)-her ex-husband, held in captivity by two men (baritone and bass). "Icarus" is a huge sculpture by the journalist's partner (mezzo) and is a metaphor for the idealistic political striving of Man One. The hostage proves to be not an innocent victim but a British agent.
The story ends badly.
The first performances of Icarus took place on the 15th and 16th of July as the opening of the 41st Cantiere di Montepulciano, Tuscany. The conductor was Roland Boer, and the director Michael Barry with Verena Gunz in the leading role.