Belfast Telegraph

Quadrophenia reworked for orchestra

Pete Townshend has created a symphonic version of The Who's landmark rock opera Quadrophenia which he will stage next year.

The guitarist hopes his orchestral performance - and a recording to be released next summer featuring tenor Alfie Boe - will help to encourage a new generation of classical music fans.

Pete's girlfriend Rachel Fuller has scored the production which will be given its live premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in July.

The album - featuring tracks such as 5.15 - was originally released by The Who in 1973 and was later made into a 1979 film starring Phil Daniels, Phil Davis and Sting.

Pete, 69, began the project as part of a plan to provide symphonic versions of all his works, with the hope of becoming part of the orchestral repertoire, and encouraging new audiences for classical music.

He said: "A lot of major symphony orchestras are in trouble because their audience is getting old and the younger audiences prefer softer stuff, such as film soundtrack music.

"I think that Quadrophenia would reinvigorate their audiences and bring in people who might not otherwise go to see a symphony orchestra perform without lights and fireworks and a movie screen."

Pete himself performed on the album along with Alfie Boe, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Oriana Choir and it is due for release by Deutsche Grammophon.

Then on July 5, the work will be performed at the Albert Hall, with tickets going on sale from Friday.

Alfie, who sings the parts originated by The Who's frontman Roger Daltrey, said he had been a lifelong fan of the album, which was released the year he was born.

"It's in my blood. I've always thought the classical voice can lend itself to this type of repertoire. It's harder than opera, but thrilling to sing. The music is so full of excitement, positivity and strength - I wouldn't separate it from a symphony by Beethoven or Mozart," he said.

Pete went on: "I never thought I'd hear a classical tenor singing my songs, and for them to work so well - but Alfie makes it happen. He's a funny man too, and good looking. The girls like him. I can't wait to be on stage with him. I'm going to push him into the orchestra pit."

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