11 June 2013
In summer 2011, WNO Youth Opera performed the world première of composer Stephen Deazley’s The Sleeper (with libretto by Michael Symmons Roberts). The opera tells the story of a society where sleep has become obsolete, and a young group of vigilantes must protect the one remaining ‘sleeper’ in society. In the Youth Opera production, The Sleeper led the audience through an underground car park, a tarpaulin tunnel and into the hall of the Coal Exchange in a promenade performance.
Now The Sleeper has been adapted into a radio play which is supported by a soundtrack of original and adapted music, sung by 25 WNO Youth opera members (previously involved in the production in 2011), 40 members of WNO Orchestra and Stephen Deazley. The cast of the play includes Maxine Peake (Channel 4’s Shameless, BBC’s Dinnerladies and Silk) and Kevin Doyle (ITV’s Downton Abbey), among many others. The Sleeper will be broadcast on 15 June, 2.30pm-3.30pm as part of BBC Radio 4 series of plays called ‘Dangerous Visions’. Find out more about BBC Radio 4’s adaptation of The Sleeper.
WNO Youth Opera returns this August with a new production of Britten’s Paul Bunyan, performed in the composer’s centenary year, featuring the voice of Stephen Fry and Britain’s Got Talent finalists Only Boys Aloud. For more information and to book visit the Paul Bunyan page.