Tuesday 26 April 2022

A Kind Man: Susan Hill's 2011 novel to become an opera

A Kind Man, Jonathan Finney
Susan Hill's novel, A Kind Man, was published in 2011;  it tells of a couple who are grieving the loss of their daughter, when they experience both a new blow and a miracle: a further loss and renewal of hope. When Jonathan Finney first came across the novel he thought it would make a fine opera, and now ten years or so later he has bitten the bullet and Finney's opera, A Kind Man will debut at Hoxton Hall on 7 June 2022 performed by New Palace Opera, the company of which Finney is co-founder and artistic director.

Finney has a long track record in opera, though not necessarily as a composer. He has sung a wide range of roles including some notable Wagnerian performances including Beckmesser in Fulham Opera's 2019 production of Wagner's Die Meistersinger [see my review]. These performances also showcased Finney's orchestral arranging as he created the reduced orchestration used. 

You can find out more about A Kind Man at the opera's website, where you can also hear a couple of scenes from the opera.

New Palace Opera’s cast for A Kind Man includes Gerrit Paul Groen as Tommy Carr, Rebecca Afonwy-Jones as his wife Eve, with Lizzie Holmes, Nicholas Morris, Zoe South and Kieran White. The orchestra is the London Concertante, conducted by the composer. The production is directed by Paul Higgins, with costumes, designs and lighting by Harry Pizzey and Ali Hunter. Performances are at Hoxton Hall 7, 8, 10 & 12 June 2022, further details from the Hoxton Hall website.

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