Projects: Theatre

News meets opera in ground-breaking music theatre

First seen in 2003, Newsnight: The Opera was a bold experiment by Tom Morris (then Artistic Director of London's Battersea Arts Centre, now an Associate Director at the National Theatre) to marry the immediacy and intensity of breaking news and current affairs with the drama and emotion of opera. Adrian was one of a number of composers contributing to a work loosely based on the BBC's flagship news programme, Newsnight.

His 'Paxo-Tango' set the notorious 1997 interview by Jeremy Paxman, Newsnight's laconic presenter, with the then Conservative Home Secretary Michael Howard in which the same question "Did you threaten to over-rule him?' was repeated 14 times.

Described by The Guardian as "a witty tango", 'Paxo-Tango' pitches the bass-baritone interviewer against the mezzo-soprano politician to pointedly comic effect to realise director Tom Morris's description of the original encounter as having been "like a song with a chorus".


Adrian Sutton


Tom Morris


"I have seen the future - and I sure hope it works... Newsnight the Opera could wind up winning new audiences for contemporary music."
The Observer

"One of the most exciting things (it) showed was that opera needn't be about the distant tragedies of exotically named princes, but about those more adjacent horrors that are relayed, each night, to the flickering boxes in our homes."
The Guardian


BBC News:
Paxarotti packs punch in Newsnight opera.

The Guardian:
Tango With Paxo.

The Observer:
Well, I never felt more like singing the news.