Lost Opera Revived
Judith Tonning (2001, Theology) will be producing Donald Swann’s opera Perelandra to be performed in concert at Keble College Chapel on 25 June 2009, and at the Sheldonian Theatre on 26 June 2009.
The opera is based on a novel by C.S. Lewis of the same name, and was four years in the writing, with the approval and support of Lewis himself. In 1962, he wrote: ‘I think [the libretto] just stunningly good. It brought tears to my eyes in places’. The opera was also very dear to Swann’s heart, and contains some of his most evocative music. The sale of production rights after Lewis’ death temporarily blocked any further stagings, and this will be its first performance in 40 years.