Opera Holland Park Announces New Commission in 2023

By Francisco Salazar

Opera Holland Park has announced a new commission and world premiere for 2023.

The new work “Itch.” based on Simon Mayo’s bestselling novels “Itch and and Itch Rocks” will be composed by Jonathan Dove and librettist Alasdair Middleton.

The opera’s hero will be Itchingham Holte, a teenage scientist on a mission to collect all the elements in the periodic table. The book is described as “Breaking Bad for kids” by NPR in America, the Itch books explore the magical properties of the elements through an adventure story of explosive proportions as the young hero tries to outrun a vindictive teacher, a global corporation, and a shadowy government agency in his quest to save the world.

Dove is well known for his 1998 opera “Flight,” which was produced by Opera Holland Park in 2015.

James Clutton, CEO and Director of Opera Holland Park said, “I am thrilled to commission a new opera from Jonathan and Alasdair, especially as we emerge from the difficulties of the last two years. When I read Simon’s novel I was immediately struck by the potential to create something truly exciting for the stage. After the great success of our 2013 commission for children, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, it gives me enormous pleasure to be commissioning a work that will appeal to everyone, young and old.”