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Now Fever Pitch the opera kicks off

Production based on author Nick Hornby’s book about his love for Arsenal to be staged at Union Chapel

28 July, 2017 — By Tom Foot

Fever Pitch author Nick Hornby

NICK Hornby’s classic Arsenal romance Fever Pitch has been reworked into an opera to be staged at Union Chapel.

Robin Bailey will play the lead Gooner in the Highbury Opera Theatre. production which features 40 Islington schoolchildren singing along in a variety of musical styles, ranging from classical and jazz to terrace chants and folk rock.

The show, which runs from September 22 to 24, coincides with the 25th anniversary of the publication of the novel about an Arsenal fan during the dramatic 1988-89 championship-winning season.

Artistic director Scott Stroman said: “This will be the opera for people who think that they don’t like opera.

Sir John Tusa: ‘Entirely original work’

“Though much of it is closer to a ‘musical’ in style, the music never stops. 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.”

Highbury Opera Theatre, set up six years ago, has staged several productions in Islington.

Patron Sir John Tusa said: “Can you imagine anything more daring and ambitious than for a locally-based theatre to commission, create and perform an entirely original work that links our football club, our community and our theatre? I can’t. That’s why I support it.”

The novel is set against the drama of Michael Thomas’s last-minute goal at Anfield to clinch the title for Arsenal on the last day of the season in 1989.

To book a ticket, go to


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