At the beginning of March I was given a very generous week in the Peter Pears Recital Room at Snape Maltings to work with a wonderful group of singers on scenes for an opera I’ve been working on over the past two years in collaboration with William Boyd. It’s based on Chekhov’s short story ‘A Visit to Friends’, which forms the basis of an opera that might have been written around 1900 by an unknown composer to a libretto by Chekhov. We rehearsed 5 scenes from that invented opera, which will be framed by and interlocked with rehearsals in which the singers become far too close to the characters they play. There were four days of rehearsal including a run-through on the final day to which William Boyd was able to come. Here we are after the run-through: Lotte Betts-Dean, the brilliant pianist Ben Smith, CM, William Boyd, Patricia Auchterlonie and Kieran Rayner.