The Tale of Januarie premieres on 27 February 2017 at London’s Silk Street Theatre, Guildhall School.
Composed by Julian Philips, and with a libretto by Stephen Plaice, the new opera is based on Chaucer’s The Merchant’s Tale and runs until 6 March.
Januarie, a wealthy knight has reached old age and decides it is time for him to marry. He selects May, a young girl, to be the companion of his dotage but his servant is quickly smitten by the new bride, and she with him. Despite Januarie’s controlling nature, the lovers must find a way to consummate their passion.
A comedy of love and age, the opera is sung in Middle English in order to enhance its authenticity, but also to heighten the comedy. Singers, drawn from the Guildhall’s Opera Course, will sing the premiere of this exciting and hilarious new work, having followed its development from page to stage.
Image © Jamie Smith