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Just when you thought is was safe to go to the theatre, grunge icon Courtney Love has decided its time to ditch the angst and fuzzed-out guitar and try her hand at opera.
Scoring a lead role in upcoming pop opera Kansas City Choir Boy, the Hole singer will take the stage as part of next year’s Prototype: Opera/Theater/Now Festival in New York.
The show is described on Prototype Festival’s site as “a mystery told through flashbacks” and “a theatricalized concept album about explosive young love tested by cruel fate”. Sounds about right.
And why has the Hole songwriter, who brought you Teenage Whore and Skinny Little Bitch, chosen to steer away from sweaty rock fans and terrify the theatre crowd? “I love the concept, and I’m loving the music,” she told The New York Times. “I’m playing it constantly.”
“I just finished a rock tour of Australia,” she explained. “It was great, but I’ve been doing that for a long time. I wanted to do something challenging.”
Show composer Todd Almond will perform opposite Love in the two-person opera. He admitted a longstanding fascination with Love to the NYT, approaching her because he thought “she would find the character interesting”. “I love her voice, and I think she’s a great actress.” said Almond.
Anyone expecting shattered monocles and gasping stuffed shirts might be a bit off base, though – Almond says the show is “in an operatic style”. “I mean [opera] in the sense that it’s a group of songs that tell a story. I write musicals, I write plays and I write what I call opera, which I think of as a form that opens the minds of both the performers and the listeners.”
Kansas City Choir Boy is directed by Kevin Newbury and is set for a 10-show run at Prototype: Opera/Theater/Now in January. Let’s just hope there’s a great goddamn band behind her.
Watch: Hole – Celebrity Skin (Solo Vocal & Guitar Mics) at Don Hill’s 2010