a short site about The Divine Comedy

French version

In May

In May

Premiere: 31st May 2013

Running time: 70 minutes

>>> See credits...

In 2009 Neil Hannon started to work with German composer Frank Alva Buecheler [1] and author/translator Tim Clarke on an opera project which started back in 2005 [4].

Little was known about this opera during its development. Thomas Walsh has revealed in some interviews [2] that the plot is about a child who has a cancer and is about to die, hence the working title German Cancer Opera.

In late 2011, Neil Hannon stated in many radio interviews that he finished working on this piece and described the music as really depressing. However in 2012 he admitted that because of financial difficulties the play was not going to be produced, but this acquired experience helped him to write Sevastopol [3]. Finally in May 2013 the show was performed once at the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA), produced by Matt Fenton and featuring Leentje Van de Cruys on vocals, the Ligeti Quartet, and visual design by Simon Wainwright.

The next year, a couple of performances were played in Brighton and Glasgow for festivals… And finally in 2016, versions of the songs recorded by Neil Hannon & The Divine Comedy were released as a CD bonus of the album Foreverland.

Although the play was originally written in German and has been translated into English and into French, only the English version has made it the stage yet.

[1] Frank Alva Buecheler website
[2] Hot Press, 0712/2011
[3] Chat with Neil Hannon, 20/04/2012
[4] Reference needed