Pete Townshend Opera Premieres at Vassar College

Classic Arts News   Pete Townshend Opera Premieres at Vassar College
A new rock opera by Pete Townshend, the guitarist and main songwriter of The Who, received its premiere on July 13 at Vassar College's Powerhouse Theater Festival in Poughkeepsie, New York.

The 62-year-old Townshend, along with the shows director's and cast, were not speaking to the press, according to Reuters, but the opera, titled The Boy Who Heard Music, was expected to include songs from The Who's latest album, Endless Wire, released in October 2006.

The Boy is reportedly a two-hour long "hallucinatory tale about the rise and fall of a band made up of three teenagers from different ethnic backgrounds as seen through the eyes of an aging rock star."

Originally planned for two showings, the festival presented a third performance on on July 14 due to high ticket demand, said Powerhouse producing director Ed Cheetham.

Townshend released in 1969 the musical work for which the term rock opera was coined, Tommy, performed at the Metropolitan Opera House that year as part of a tour by The Who. More a song cycle than an opera, the work is about a deaf, dumb and blind boy and his quest for spiritual enlightenment. It was followed in 1973 by Quadrophenia, Townshend's second opera.

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