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Fairy Queen

Newcastle University students hit the high notes with The Fairy Queen

Published on: 9 February 2024

Talented young musicians will take to the stage to perform The Fairy Queen on Sunday.

Purcell's opera

The Newcastle University music undergraduates are performing Purcell’s opera, a retelling of Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as part of their studies. They will be joined by the Newcastle Youth Choir.

Acclaimed counter tenor Larry Zazzo, who is Head of Performance at Newcastle University’s International Centre for Music Studies, developed the opera module and is directing the production. The costumes and sets have been imagined by music lecturer Dr Eric Doughney.

“Much like a modern musical or operetta, this is a semi-opera, said Larry. “We’re having a wonderful time in rehearsals with the Newcastle Youth Choir, conducted by our very own Newcastle University graduate Tom Edney.”

Dr Larry Zazzo and the cast of The Fairy Queen


The Fairy Queen was first performed in 1692 and was composed just three years before Purcell’s death. It is widely considered to be some of his best work. His autograph score was lost following his death and was only rediscovered in the early twentieth century.

The Fairy Queen will be performed at 5pm on Sunday 11 February at St Andrew’s Church in Newgate Street, Newcastle. Tickets are £7, £5 for concessions and £3 for students, and are also available to purchase on the door.

Get your tickets here.


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