Marking 25 years since it was first published, Nick Hornby’s iconic Fever Pitch is to receive its first-ever musical staging courtesy of Highbury Opera Theatre. Hornby’s book follows the ups and downs of life supporting Arsenal Football Club, intertwining stories of matches and the fortunes of the club with those of his own life as a writer. Composer Scott Stroman (HOT's Artistic Director) and librettist Tamsin Collison have re-imagined it as a comedy/drama featuring a cast of five professional actors and ten professional musicians (to be announced Summer 2017) with a large community chorus that includes 40 local school children. The musical style ranges from classical and jazz to terrace chants and folk-rock.
“This will be the opera for people who think that they don't like opera. Though much of it is closer to a 'musical' in style, the music never stops, and like all operas it is driven by the emotions of its main character. Opera is all about the turmoil of its characters, and football provides as much drama, turmoil and comedy as any subject.”
- Scott Stroman
We’re pleased and proud to announce that Sir John Tusa has become the first Patron of Highbury Opera Theatre.
Sir John Tusa has had a wide ranging career in arts administration and in radio and television journalism. He is currently co-chairman of the European Union Youth Orchestra from 2014 a Trustee
of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation and until recently, was chairman of the British Architecture Trust Board, RIBA. He was chair of the Clore Leadership Programme, (2009-14) Managing Director
of the City of London’s Barbican Centre (1995-2007), Managing Director of the BBC World Service (1986-93) and a main presenter of BBC 2's Newsnight programme (1980-86). He has served on the
Boards of the National Portrait Gallery, the British Museum, the English National Opera, the Design Museum and Wigmore Hall. He has written extensively on the arts and its importance to society.
In his most recent book Pain in the Arts (2014) he addresses the controversies in the arts that must be resolved so urgently today. Previous books include Engaged with the Arts:
Writings from the Frontline (2007) and Art Matters (2000).
We asked him a few questions, including one pertinent to our upcoming production of Fever Pitch the Opera.