Nick Hornby’s ‘Fever Pitch’ Novel on Arsenal FC To Receive Opera Treatment

By Francisco Salazar

The Highbury Opera Theatre has commissioned Nick Hornby’s legendary soccer/football novel “Fever Pitch.”

Marking the novel’s 25 anniversary, this opera will be the first ever musical adaptation of the work.

The opera will be composed by Scott Stroman (HOT’s Artistic Director) and written by librettist Tamsin Collison. Both have reimagined it as a comedy/drama featuring a cast of five professional actors and ten professional musicians (to be announced in Summer 2017) with a large community chorus that includes 40 local school children.

In a move to make the work accessible to audiences all over, the music will range from classical and jazz to terrace chants and folk-rock.

According to composer Stroman, “This will be the opera for people who think that they don’t like opera. Though much of it is closer to a ‘musical’ in style, the music never stops, and like all operas, it is driven by the emotions of its main character. Opera is all about the turmoil of its characters, and football provides as much drama, turmoil, and comedy as any subject.”

The novel follows the ups and downs of life supporting Arsenal Football Club, intertwining stories of matches and the fortunes of the club with those of his own life as a writer.

“Fever Pitch” is slated to open on Sept. 21, 2017, with tickets available on June 1.