Today, Mark Simpson's chamber opera, Pleasure, with a libretto by Melanie Challenger, will be performed in Leeds by Opera North, at the Howard Assembly Rooms.
It is the composer's first opera.
Val works the toilets in 'Pleasure', a hedonistic gay club in the north of England. For years, she’s been a shoulder to cry on and a confidante. She is much-loved but viewed as an enigma. Why is she still there? Why does she never leave? When a young man, both beautiful and unpredictable, arrives from the city and leaves a gift for Val, it marks the beginning of a passionate and violent night… (reproduced from the Opera North website)The cast includes soprano Lesley Garrett (Val), tenor Nick Pritchard (Matthew), baritones Timothy Nelson (Nathan) and Steven Page (Anna Fewmore). Nicholas Kok conducts the Psappha Ensemble. Tim Albery conducts. The performance should last about 75 minutes.
The production will tour to Liverpool (Playhouse, May 4), Aldeburgh (Britten Studio, May 7) and London (Lyric Hammersmith, May 12-14).