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Pink Floyd’s best-selling album The Wall embodies the sense of anxiety and alienation of a generation in the 1980s, exploring the uneasy relationship between the individual and society. Now, band leader Roger Waters has sanctioned his work’s transformation into an opera, soon to be premiered as part of the 375th anniversary celebrations of Montreal, the city where the idea for the album first took hold

There is no escaping the symbolism of ‘the wall’ these days. For a generation brought up in the aftermath of the Second World War, the geopolitical landscape has been shaped by the Berlin Wall, Israel’s West Bank wall, and most recently Donald Trump’s notorious plan to build a wall between the US and Mexico.

At the end of the 1970s, the progressive rock band Pink Floyd tapped into the metaphor of the wall to represent the isolation and alienation of the individual in society. Band leader Roger Waters wove a narrative from 11 songs, inspired by events in his own life and that of Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd’s original front man. The resulting concept album, The Wall, tells the dysfunctional story of Pink, beginning with his desperately unhappy childhood and culminating as an adult in a failed marriage and a slow, self-imposed retreat from the world behind a wall.

By the early 1980s, The Wall had become one of the best-selling albums of all time, developing into an international sell-out stage show (much of which was performed behind a polystyrene wall), and an equally successful film starring Bob Geldof. Now, with Waters’ blessing, the story of Pink’s process of self-incarceration and ultimate liberation is being turned into an opera. Another Brick in the Wall is a new commission from the Opéra de Montréal and is scheduled to receive its world premiere in the Canadian city this March.

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About Opera Now

Baritone Thomas Hampson discusses his influential role as ambassador for opera and the art of singing; composer John Adams on turning 70 and his new opera about the California Gold Rush; Grange Park Opera gets ready for its relaunch at Britain's newest opera house; and the indomitable prowess of the great American soprano Leontyne Price. Plus, introducing a new opera inspired by Pink Floyd's The Wall; movement and pictures in the stagings of Japanese-born director Anna Etsuko Tsuri; the revelations of Dame Felicity Lott; American opera in the age of Trump; a weekend in Boston; and our pick of the best new works coming up stateside.