Simon Rattle

  • Review

The Hogboon, Simon Rattle and the LSO, review

Given his passionate advocacy for music education, it is entirely apt that Peter Maxwell Davies’s last major work, a London Symphony Orchestra commission completed before his death in March, should have been a children’s opera for musicians of mixed ability in the mould of Noye’s Fludde. Writing the libretto himself, he based The Hogboon on an Orkney folk tale. Magnus (seasoned treble Sebastian Exall) is a young Orkney islander who, with the help of a friendly Hogboon (a household spirit), a white witch and her cat, sets out to defend the village from the feared sea monster, Nuckleavee, to win the hand of the Earl of Orkney’s daughter and the earldom in the process.