Emily Howard’s anticipated mini-opera ‘Zátopek!’ premiered in Liverpool last week, and has since welcomed fantastic reviews. Gaining a successful 4 stars from The Guardian, Emily’s work, which tells the story of Emil Zátopek (the famous Czech Olympian who gained a gold medal in 5000m, 10000m and Marathon all in one year) has impressed critics with its debut performance. The Liverpool Echo praised the work for being ‘as unreservedly entertaining as the man it pays tribute to’ whilst the Guardian celebrated Emily for capturing Zátopek’s oddball personality within her score. The short length of 12-minutes for this mini-opera lends itself to the manic nature of the performance, ‘packed with potential’ it relays Zátopek’s lengthy career into the time of a single Olympic race. (The Guardian)
Individual performances of the Premiere also called for high praise, in particular the tenor John McMunn in the title role of ‘Zátopek!’ executed with ‘pleasing clarity and humour’ (The Liverpool Echo).
With the Olympic torch having passed through Liverpool just weeks before, Emily’s work is of ideal timing and a wonderfully fitting composition to launch in a very sporting 2012.
It is still possible to hear the premiering performance of ‘Zátopek!’ until Saturday, on BBC Radio 3 here.