An absurd comedy that explores the mind of one of the 20th century’s most controversial painters.
The Francis Bacon Opera chronicles an interview between Francis Bacon and Melvyn Bragg, as seen on an episode of the South Bank Show in 1986. Explosive opinions blend with tenderness and wit throughout the course of the conversation, as Bacon and Bragg’s inhibitions are steadily diluted by alcohol. Touching on topics ranging from art, addiction, sexuality and death, composer Stephen Crowe has used the frank and inflammatory interview word-for-word as the opera’s libretto, underpinned by a score that is as spontaneous and imaginative as his subject’s brushstrokes.
This work turns what was a discussion about art back into a work of art in its own right, fusing opera with popular culture, television and art history.
Text and Images via The Francis Bacon Opera