Val works the toilets in the hedonistic gay club Pleasure. She’s a shoulder to cry on, a confidante – and an enigma. When a young man, beautiful and unpredictable, leaves a gift for Val, it marks the start of a violent night.
Pleasure, a co-commission between Aldeburgh Music, Opera North and The Royal Opera, marks the operatic debut of rising Liverpudlian composer Mark Simpson. Simpson made history in 2006 when he became the first person to win both the BBC Young Musician of the Year (as a clarinettist) and the BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composer of the Year. In 2010 he won the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize and in September 2015 became Composer in Association with the BBC Philharmonic.
Simpson’s works, including Threads, A mirror-fragment…, sparks and the oratorio The Immortal (Manchester International Festival), have been praised for their colour, invention and boldness. Award-winning writer Melanie Challenger, who collaborated with Simpson on The Immortal and has won widespread acclaim in both prose and poetry, provides the libretto for this major operatic event.