Sky Arts has commissioned a brand new opera about corruption in football…
The singing of soccer sins will coincide with the long-awaited 2022 World Cup. Sung in English across 90 minutes – with no injury time – this celebration and condemnation of the world’s most popular sport will play to in-person audiences at Grange Park Opera, Surrey in October, airing on Sky Arts, NOW and Freeview shortly afterwards.
Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts and Entertainment:
“One of our aims at Sky Arts is to move beyond TV from time to time and help create work that lives in the real world, so we’re really excited to bring this brilliant idea to the stage with Grange Park Opera, Factory Films and Kwame Kwei-Armah. Football is laced with all the drama you need for operatic treatment – heroes, villains, rivalry, joy, despair; it’s all there and beautifully captured in Gods of the Game.”
The opera will also include the world’s first “footy fan chorus”, a group of football fans who will turn their passion for the beautiful game into an operatic sensation. They’ll be given a crash course in opera before performing a specially composed chorus in a UK football stadium. Filmed footage of the fans turned opera singers will then be played on stage during the opera as part of the performance. The footy fan chorus will be cast in the coming months, so any fans ready to swap their boots for their baritone and their tracksuits for their tenors should watch this space.
Gods of the Game: A Football Opera tells the story of two childhood friends, now footballing icons, who join forces to front their nation’s bid to host a World Cup tournament. As their campaign takes shape, they begin to encounter a nefarious world of bribery and corruption, overseen by the game’s charismatic and all-powerful president. Enlisting support from the gods of the game, they set out to restore football to its rightful owners – the players and the fans.
Grange Park Opera CEO Wasfi Kani CBE:
“Wow, I’ve never watched a football match, now is the time to expand my horizons. I do understand the off-side rule but, at the end of the day, I need to brush up on my football clichés.”
Gods of the Game: A Football Opera will open in the Theatre in the Woods at Grange Park Opera, Surrey on 6 October 2022 before airing on Sky Arts, Freeview and NOW.