Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations

Jethro Tull - The Rock Opera at Birmingham Symphony Hall

Home > Birmingham > Bands | Concerts | Music | Opera | Shows
by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
Event: -
Agriculture pioneer the subject of musical extravaganza
From Tommy and Quadrophenia by the Who to Green Day's American Idiot and Bono & The Edge's Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, the Rock Opera has embraced a host of different subjects.

So it should be no surprise that coming to a stage near you is a production based on the life of an 18th century English agriculturalist. It may seem obscure but its creator is confident it will be a hit with Prog Rock fans.

ian Anderson, Jethro Tull the Rock Opera, Symphony Hall Birmingham
Sowing the seeds: Ian Anderson (pic: Martin Webb)

Jethro Tull The Rock Opera is the brainchild of Ian Anderson, the driving force behind Jethro Tull, the band. It tours the UK this September and includes a date at Birmingham's Symphony Hall (September 11).

The show tells the story of the original Jethro Tull's life, re-imagined as if in the near future and illustrated with Anderson's best-known material from the repertoire of his band.

ian Anderson, Jethro Tull the Rock Opera, Symphony Hall Birmingham
Flute music: Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull (pic: Martin Webb)

Jethro Tull, who was born in 1674 and died in 1741, was an English agricultural pioneer who helped bring about the British Agricultural Revolution. He perfected a horse-drawn seed drill that economically sowed the seeds in neat rows and developed a horse-drawn hoe.

The band took Jethro Tull as its moniker in 1968.

Writing on his website, Ian Anderson says: ''The repertoire of Jethro Tull has been a huge part of my life over the last 47 years so it is great fun to find a new way to present some of my best-known songs in a different and fitting context.

''As a tribute to the original 18th century agriculturalist, whose name our agent "borrowed" back in February 1968, I have imagined a scenario where the pioneering pursuit of improved crop-growing and farming methodology might apply to the world of today and tomorrow.

''When this notion first occurred to me last summer, I had no inkling that, when I examined all of my song material especially the lyrics, there would be so many perfect fits in regard to song subject and references.

ian Anderson, Jethro Tull the Rock Opera, Symphony Hall Birmingham
Prog rocker: Ian Anderson

''The life story of the original Tull (in as much as we have recorded historical detail of it) has so many interesting and workable parallels. Wind Up, Heavy Horses, Aqualung, Back to the Family, Farm on the Freeway and Songs From The Wood, amongst others, were natural inclusions. A few others were bent into shape with a slight re-write of lyrics and five new songs round off the intended setlist.

''Some of the material will be accompanied by brief performance inserts of our 'virtual guests' on the big HD video screen. Instead of spoken introductions to the songs in the show, there will be the use of that operatic device, the 'recitative', where the links are made by short sung vocal segments in a usually-simple musical backdrop, making it a little easier and more entertaining for non-English-speaking audiences.''

Performing on stage with Ian Anderson will be David Goodier on bass, John O'Hara on keyboards, Florian Opahle on guitar and Scott Hammond on drums.

The UK September 2015 tour dates are:

8th: Anvil, Basingstoke;
10th: O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London;
11th: Symphony Hall, Birmingham;
12th: Barbican, York;
13th: Sage Theatre, Gateshead;
14th: Lowry Theatre, Salford.

Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  20
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? Jethro Tull songs in a Rock Opera setting
When: September 11, 2015
Phone: 0121 345 0493
Where: Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Cost: 27.50 - 32.50 (Birmingham); 28 - 32 (elsewhere)
Your Comment
Articles from other cities
Top Events
Popular Articles