Peter Brathwaite in The Knife of Dawn, The Royal Opera ©2020 ROH. Photograph by Tristram Kenton

The Knife of Dawn

2223 October 2021

The Knife of Dawn will be streamed for free on the ROH YouTube channel from 7pm on 22 October until 24 October 2021 to celebrate the anniversary of its Royal Opera House premiere. This free stream is presented as part of the Royal Opera House's celebrations for Black History Month 2021.

Hannah Kendall’s impactful chamber opera retells the story of Guyanese political activist Martin Carter on hunger strike in 1953, having been incarcerated without charge. The Knife of Dawn’s libretto by Tessa McWatt is based on Carter’s own powerful poetry, as he sought independence for British Guyana. 

Directed by the award-winning Ola Ince, this was the first production directed by a Black woman at ROH when it was performed on the Main Stage in 2020. 

Black History Month

This event is part of our Black History Month celebrations. Find out more.


Conductor: Jonathon Heyward

Martin Carter: Peter Brathwaite

Sopranos: Nia Coleman, Sarah Dacey

Mezzo-soprano: Beth Moxon


DirectorOla Ince

ComposerHannah Kendall

DesignerVicki Mortimer

Lighting designerAdam Silverman

Sound designerSimon Hendry

Video designerAkhila Krishnan