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Casting announced for Fever Pitch the Opera

The first ever musical staging by Highbury Opera Theatre marks 25 years since Nick Hornby's book was first published

Robin Bailey, Joanna Harries and Nick Allen

Casting for the lead roles in Highbury Opera Theatre's Fever Pitch the Opera (22 to 24 September), the first ever operatic adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel, has been announced.

Author Nick Hornby has given his blessing to the north London company to create and perform an original musical based on the novel, which explores the author's obsession with Arsenal Football Club.

The lead role of Gooner, based on Hornby's character in the book, will be performed by Robin Bailey (West Side Story, Grange Park/Pimlico Opera).

Gooner's fellow fan Rat will be performed by Nick Allen (Tobias and the Angel, Highbury Opera Theatre).

Mezzo-Soprano Joanna Harries will play Girl, a role which represents a number of the women in Gooner's life and Robert Gildon will play Gooner's father.

Fever Pitch follows the ups and downs of life supporting Arsenal Football Club. Composer Scott Stroman and librettist Tamsin Collison have re-imagined it as a comedy/drama with musical styles ranging from classical and jazz to folk-rock.

Fever Pitch will run at the Union Chapel from 22 to 24 September.