Iain Bell to World Premiere ‘Comfort Starving’ With Petr Nekoranec

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Frances Marshall & Zoltan Matuška)

Iain Bell’s new piece “Comfort Starving” will receive its world premiere on July 1.

The new monodrama for tenor & piano showcases the journey of a young, gay man grappling with an eating disorder, haunted by memories of homophobic school-bullying.

Bell penned the libretto, drawing upon his own teenage experiences; the performance will be live streamed from Prague and performed by tenor Petr Nekoranec and conductor-pianist William Kelley.

On July 31, the work will be presented at the Bach Festival Świdnica, Poland in a production by director Krystian Lada and lighting designer Aleksandr Prowaliński, where Nekoranec and Kelley will reprise their respective musical roles.

In a press release, Bell said, “Since writing my opera ‘Stonewall,’ my dedication to use my voice to tell LGBTQI+ stories burns even brighter. Eating disorders are an ever-present reality in the queer community and the world at large, and by sharing my own story, shining a light on an oftentimes un-discussed subject, I hope others going through it may feel heard; that they are not alone, and that those looking-on may gain deeper understanding and compassion.”

Nekoranec, who is now in the midst of musical rehearsals for “Comfort Starving,” said of the piece, “Reading the text and listening to the music for the first time, the personal touch was clear to me. It brought me to tears because it was so full of pure, raw and honest emotion…you could really feel Iain’s experience.”