The Weekend: A Jazz Opera based on the comedy by Michael Palin.
Following on from the success of ‘Fever Pitch: The Opera’, Scott Stroman and I wrote another opera for Highbury Opera Theatre. Originally intended to be staged as half of a double-bill with Bernstein’s ‘Trouble In Tahiti’, to mark his Centenary in 2018, it has now been expanded to a stand-alone 1-Act jazz-opera, running at about 80’00”. It involves a cast of 5 professional singers, 3 amateur cameo roles, a chorus of 40 amateur singers and a band of 12 musicians.
The show was due to premiere in Autumn 2020, but Covid put paid to that, as to so many things for so many people. However, the cast and chorus heroically learned their parts via Zoom and through private study, and in the small window before the Christmas 2020 Lockdown they met one December day at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama’s concert hall to make a carefully socially-distanced recording of the score, so that there would at least be some incarnation of the work. Both musicians and singers were completely giddy with the joy of playing together after almost a year of silence. The performances were dazzling.
Happily, thanks to vaccines and general readjustments, it became possible to contemplate staging the show again in 2021 and so the premiere is now booked for Sept 25th-Sept 27th 2021 at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London, we hope with the same cast and band. And here is the link to book tickets:
Wish us luck!