Police drummer, Monty Python comic turn to opera

Tue Apr 5, 2011 12:33pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Police drummer Stewart Copeland and Monty Python star Terry Jones are the unlikely pair in a new operatic double bill which opens in London on Friday.

Copeland has set Edgar Allan Poe's Gothic horror story "The Tell-Tale Heart" to music and Jones provided the libretto for "The Doctor's Tale," a story about a successful doctor who is struck from the register just because he is a dog.

His words have been set to music by Anne Dudley, a member of the band Art of Noise and an Oscar winner for her score for the British comedy film "The Full Monty."

The trio has been commissioned to create the new works by ROH2, the Royal Opera House's contemporary arm, and the run opens this week in the company's smaller Linbury Studio Theater. Ticket prices range from 9.70 to 20.40 pounds ($16-33).

For Copeland it is his fourth opera outing, and comes 22 years after his debut "Holy Blood and Crescent Moon" met with a mixed response in the United States.

The 58-year-old American told Reuters he had tried to recreate the scale and power of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde."

"I think there was a review which sniffed at that a little bit and I took that very much to heart," he said in an interview during rehearsals. "You learn a lot from the good reviews, from the bad reviews, from the accurate ones and ... inaccurate ones.

"It was liberating because you think okay, that's right, Mozart already did that, Wagner already did that, so what new can be done?"   Continued...

<p>Musician Stewart Copeland, who composed "Dila Teer Bija" featured in the film "Bhutto", is interviewed as he arrives for the premiere of the film about former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 23, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith</p>