Miss Fortune


A new production of an earlier opera is always welcome news, to its composer at least, and it doesn't feel right to term these "revivals" - implying that resuscitation or even raising from the dead has been necessary. But I personally have been feeling thoroughly revived after GSMD's energy-giving version of my 2011 opera "Miss Fortune" which opened at the beginning of March. In some ways I feel I've seen the piece for the first time, in a staging (by Martin Lloyd-Evans) which very closely expressed my intentions when I first imagined it. By contrast, the premiere production (as often happens) seemed to be aiming at a left-field reimagining of a piece which no-one had yet seen. The orchestral music also seemed much bolder and more colourful under Dominic Wheeler's direction, and in the hands of GSMD's vivid student orchestra.


Above all, I felt justified in having written the opera in the first place. Its story talks about the difference betweeen being rich and poor, and I was criticised at the time for imagining that this would be a permissable subject for an opera. But this time round, it seemed even more relevant than to pay onstage attention to this subject. I loved the witty set (designer, Anna Reid) a luxury housing development, with a big sign outside promising "No social housing", something I'm all too familiar with as a local resident to the Vauxhall-Nine Elms "transformation".

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JUDITH WEIR

Composer