Monday 14 June 2021

Fun and tuneful: Holst's early operetta, The Idea, get its UK premiere

Irrational Theatre - Holst: The Idea
Gustav Holst would dismiss all the music that he wrote before 1904 as derivative early horrors, though commentators more recently have been kinder and see interest, originality and a hint of what was to come. He wrote his operetta The Idea in 1896 whilst still a student, and the work finally receives its UK premiere this June when Irrational Theatre present The Idea in performances at St Saviours Hall St Albans (20/6/2021), Windsor’s Old Court (25/6/2021), Chiswick Playhouse (26/6/2021), Harpenden Park Hall (27/6/2021) and Upstairs at The Gatehouse, Highgate (1 & 2/7/2021). 

Directed by Paula Chitty with a cast of five, Valeria Perboni,  Ross Hobson,  Simon Mulligan , John Stivey and  Elena Hogg, plus a small instrumental ensemble led by music director Jack Blue, it is a fun piece, tuneful and somewhat G&S in style, yet sheds an insight into his early development with flourishes and hints of  the Holst we have come to know.

Holst's operas seem to be undergoing something of a revival this year with performances of Savitri, At the Boar's Head and The Wandering Scholar at the Leeds Opera Festival, so it is heartening that another small company is imaginatively digging into Holst's rarer repertoire.

Further information from the Irrational Theatre website.

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