EM Forster story set for opera de­but

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page -

THE world pre­miere of ac­tor, pre­sen­ter and writer Stephen Fry’s new opera takes place in Sur­rey at the end of Septem­ber.

Sur­rey Opera will present the opera, based on the EM Forster story The Life To Come, with li­bretto by Stephen Fry and mu­sic by com­poser Louis Man­der, on Septem­ber 28 and 29 at the Har­lequin Theatre in Red­hill.

The opera is the story of the love be­tween Chris­tian mis­sion­ary Paul Pin­may and the African tribal chief he came to con­vert, Vithobai.

Stephen Fry said: “The Life To Come is one of EM Forster’s most be­guil­ing and bril­liant short sto­ries.

“It is si­mul­ta­ne­ously ro­man­tic, satir­i­cal, pas­sion­ate, comic, tragic and mys­te­ri­ous.

“It speaks of colo­nial­ism, sex­u­al­ity, love and re­li­gion in unique ways. The dra­matic struc­ture struck me as ideal for an opera and when the out­ra­geously tal­ented young Louis Man­der and I talked about col­lab­o­rat­ing and he evinced a sim­i­lar en­thu­si­asm, it all just fell into place.”

The pro­duc­tion is con­ducted and di­rected by Sur­rey Opera’s artis­tic di­rec­tor, Jonathan Butcher, and de­signed by Jill Wil­son.

Pic­ture: Richard Pohle/ The Times/PA Wire

The ea­gle-eyed staff at Ry­des Hill Prep School in Guild­ford spot­ted a for­mer head girl mak­ing the na­tional news last week. He­len Haslem is head of the lower school at Thomas’s Battersea in Lon­don and she met Prince George, with dad the Duke of Cam­bridge, as he started his first day at the school

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