The Royal Opera presents a double bill of new short operas from Anne Dudley and Terry Jones and Stewart Copeland entitled OperaShots this April. Commissioned and produced by ROH2, OperaShots is part of an ongoing programme of opera development work across the Royal Opera House which ranges from full-scale commissions to development workshops, courses and observer programmes. All the above three are established artists in their own fields who will be experimenting with opera for the first time.
Oscar winning composer Anne Dudley (The Full Monty and a founder member of Art of Noise) and librettist Terry Jones (Monty Python) have joined forces to write The Doctor’s Tale – the story of a devoted doctor but despite being loved by his patients, is told by the General Medical Council that he has to stop practising because he’s a dog. The patients protest and eventually rescue the dog from the Dog Pound, where he was due to be put down. Terry Jones directs and the opera is conducted by Tim Murray. Although Anne Dudley has never previously composed an opera, she has produced two songs for the pop crossover group Opera Babes and composed the soundtrack to the film Tristan and Isolde
The second half of this innovative double bill is written by former drummer and founder of The Police, Stewart Copeland. He promises to bring Edgar Allan Poe’s Gothic fiction The Tell-Tale Heart to life. Perhaps one of Poe’s most famous short stories it tells the tale of one man’s intensity and madness as he is consumed by the frenzied guilt of murdering an old man. Copeland is both composer and librettist for this new work, and it will be directed by Jonathan Moore and conducted by Robert Ziegler.
OperaShots takes place at the Linbury Studio Theatre, The Royal Opera House, 8-16 April. Box Office: 020 7304 4000. www.royalopera.org