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Pleasure, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Tom Service visits Opera North to hear from Mark Simpson about the premiere of his opera Pleasure, which is also reviewed. Plus a feature on Birmingham's Symphony Hall.

Tom Service visits Opera North for the world premiere of Pleasure, a dramatic opera set in a gay nightclub, written by the young up-coming composer Mark Simpson, making his debut in the genre. We interview him, and music critic Paul Griffiths reviews the opera too. Also, we visit Birmingham's Symphony Hall as it turns 25 this month to learn about its illustrious history, its relevance in the local community today, as well as its contribution to the UK's cultural life. Tom talks to its CEO Nick Reed and to local journalist Christopher Morley from the Birmingham Post.

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45 minutes

Chapters

  • Mark Simpson

    Duration: 23:36

  • 'Pleasure’ – a chamber opera by Mark Simpson

    Duration: 08:09

  • Symphony Hall turns 25

    Duration: 11:02

'Pleasure’ – a chamber opera by Mark Simpson

'Pleasure’ – a chamber opera by Mark Simpson

Tom Service visits Opera North for the world premiere of ‘Pleasure’, a dramatic opera written by the young up-and-coming composer Mark Simpson, making his debut in the genre.  Set in a gay nightclub full of neon lights and a decadent cabaret atmosphere, it tells the story of Val, its toilet cleaner; Anna Fewmore, a cynical drag queen who’s seen it all; and two young customers seeking sex and love. Music critic Paul Griffiths reviews the opera too, which is a co-production between Opera North, The Royal Opera House and Aldeburgh Music.

More information:
Pleasure by Opera North
Royal Opera House
Aldeburgh Music
‘Pleasure’ will be broadcast on Radio 3’s ‘Hear and Now’ on June 11th.

Photo: Lesley Garrett as Val © Robert Workman

Mark Simpson

Mark Simpson

Tom interviews Mark Simpson about ‘Pleasure’ and its relationship with his other output written in collaboration with -or inspired by – the work of poet Melanie Challenger, like the critically-acclaimed oratorio ‘The Immortal’ and the tone-poem ‘A mirror-fragment’.  Mark discusses how his life and his creative inspiration have changed since winning both BBC Young Musician of the Year and BBC Young Composer of the Year in 2006, about subsequently living in Berlin, London and his native Liverpool, and about juggling life as a composer and clarinettist. Mark’s currently the BBC Philharmonic’s Composer in Association.

More information:
Mark Simpson
BBC Philharmonic

Photo © Kaupo Kikkas

Symphony Hall turns 25

Symphony Hall turns 25

We visit Birmingham's Symphony Hall as it turns 25 this month, to learn about its illustrious history, its relevance in the local community today, as well as its contribution to the UK's cultural life. Tom talks to its CEO Nick Reed, to local journalist Christopher Morley from the Birmingham Post who was at the premiere concert back in 1991, and with Catherine Arlidge, one of the violinists with the CBSO.

More information:
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Radio 3 in Concert from Symphony Hall

Photo: Inside Symphony Hall © Craig Holmes

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Tom Service
Interviewed Guest Mark Simpson
Interviewed Guest Paul Griffiths
Interviewed Guest Nick Reed
Interviewed Guest Christopher Morley

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