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  • Watch: Lesley Garrett on her role in Pleasure – 'Opera is not a museum art form’

Watch: Lesley Garrett on her role in Pleasure – 'Opera is not a museum art form’

The singer returns to opera with Mark Simpson’s new thriller, set in a gay bar.

By Rose Slavin (Former Assistant Content Producer)

12 May 2016 at 1.32pm | 1 Comment

Lesley Garrett makes her return to opera this month in the lead role of Mark Simpson’s Pleasure

The new production, a co-commission between Aldeburgh Music, Opera North and The Royal Opera, will be preformed at the Lyric Hammersmith.

Speaking to ITV's Lorraine Kelly, Garrett explains that the work ‘deals with all the subjects that opera doesn’t usually deal with.’

‘It’s a brilliant opera because it’s set in the most modern setting and deals with all kinds of contemporary issues,’ says the English soprano.

Garrett performs the role of Val, the toilet attendant who works in the gay club, Pleasure. Audiences discover Val is mourning the loss of her son, who was taken from her by the authorities after they became victims of domestic violence.

‘She finds herself in this gay club where she can express her unrequited motherly love to the lovely men who come with confusion about their sexuality – which I think is a really common thing with young people these days.’

As well as the compelling subject matter, Garrett praises the work’s creative team, led by Liverpudlian composer Mark Simpson.

‘The best thing about this opera is the people that wrote it. Mark Simpson is just a force of nature – he’s an absolute genius, he’s the next Mozart and his librettist Melanie Challenger, who’s a fabulous poet, have just written the best words and music.’

Garrett explains that Pleasure, which is directed by Tim Albery, will appeal to newcomers and seasoned opera-goers alike as it is sung in English and lasts just 1 hour and 15 minutes.

‘What I’m desperate to do is to show people that opera is a 21st century art form – it’s not a museum art form'.

Pleasure runs 12–14 May 2016. Tickets are still available through the Lyric Hammersmith website.

The production is a co-commission and co-production with Aldeburgh Music and Opera North, supported by a legacy from Ms D. Kurzman via Arts Council England.


This article has 1 comment

  1. Stephen Diviani responded on 12 May 2016 at 9:13pm Reply

    'It's completely accessible to everybody.' Well, it would be if there were surtitles.

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