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In the summer of 2023, Handpicked embarked on a monumental journey, unveiling its inaugural nationwide production - the enchanting masterpiece, The Promise.

Captivating audiences, this extraordinary family opera transcended boundaries,
weaving its magic into the hearts of audiences across the nation.

Watch our signed and subtitled trailer here and discover the magic...

Inspired by the much-loved children’s story by Nicola Davies and Laura Carlin, The Promise brings
together a team of talented opera makers to create a
multi-dimensional piece of story-telling theatre for families, which places community at its heart.

"Green spread through the city like a song..."

More than just a performance, The Promise aspired to forge a more connected society, to promote the nurturing of kindness between people, and to create a group of forest guardians who go on to sow acorns and plant forests themselves.

The Promise is a story about a girl who lives in a mean, hard and ugly city. After a chance encounter with a strange woman in a dark alleyway, the girl transforms herself and the city she lives in, when she begins to plant seeds. Her growth and the blossoming of nature are mirrored perfectly in Daniel Saleeb's music, which brings together folk, electronics and opera to create a truly accessible and magical new piece for families.

Part opera, part environmental event, The Promise, acts as a tool for communal healing and curates a space for social change, encouraging its audience to come together to take personal and collective action on the climate crisis. 


The Promise toured to five regions in the summer of 2023 visiting Cumbria, Tower Hamlets, Leeds, Milton Keynes
and Suffolk. We also led a number of planting projects to support our work; engaging children, families and
local communities in tree planting initiatives in their local areas.


The Promise tour was supported by Arts Council England, Walker Books, Cumbria Action for Sustainability,
Mila Charitable Trust, Three Monkies, Edith M Ellis Trust, Hadfield Trust, THAMES,
and it was developed in collaboration with Without Walls, Workington Nature Partnership, Community Forest Trust, Trees for Cities, Rosehill Theatre, Florence Arts Centre, Slung Low, Poplar Union, Pro Corda Leiston Abbey and IF: Milton Keynes. With the generous support of Victoria Robey, Dominic Wallis and Oliver Bradley

For further information and to download the tec spec >>

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Composer  Daniel Saleeb

Librettist Nicola Davies
Director Lucy Bradley
Designer  Sascha Gilmour

Dramaturg Zoë Palmer

Musical Director Amy Hsu

Producers Anne Timpson, Tamzin Aitken, Lucy Bradley
Production Manager Vivienne Clavering


Performing Company Bethan Langford, Eleanor Penfold, Chloë Sommer, Amy Helena

Instrumentalists Sophia Kannathasan, Aaliyah Booker, Zivorad Nikolic, Iñigo Mikeleiz Berrade

BSL Show interpreters Paul Whittaker OBE & Megan McArthur

BSL tour interpreters Katie O’Connor & Craig Painting

Access Advisor Kate Lovell

BSL Advisor Emily Howlett

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