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Bonnie Greer's 'Question Time' opera opens

  • Date: 25 November 2011
  • Area: National
close-up of woman's face

Bonnie Greer has penned an opera to reflect her experience of appearing alongside BNP leader Nick Griffin on BBC's Question Time panel show. Credit: PA Wire

US playwright Bonnie Greer has written an opera about her experience of appearing on BBC's Question Time alongside Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party.

Entitled Yes, the opera reflects an event that Greer says changed her life. The political debate show featuring Griffin was broadcast to widespread protest in October 2009.

Yes, a one-hour piece set to music by Errollyn Wallen, opened on 22 November at the Royal Opera House's Linbury Studio in London. Greer wrote the script and narrates the performance on stage.

She says Yes is not simply a musical version of the Question Time episode. None of the panellists are featured in the opera, nor is programme presenter David Dimbleby.

Greer said: 'I don't think reconstructing Question Time on stage would be very interesting. And it certainly wouldn't make an opera.

'So the opera's a form of completion for me but also it's meant to express something for those people (the audience) because they never got the chance to say what they had to say.

'I heard emotions, thoughts, passing feelings and half-formed sentences: Opera can give those permanent form.'