Jethro Tull – The Rock Opera

TullIan Anderson celebrates the life and times of the English Agricultural inventor, Jethro Tull, with the announcement of a new series of concert tours beginning September 2015.

The shows tell the story of the original Jethro Tull’s life, reimagined as if in the near future and illustrated with Anderson’s best-known songs from the rock band Jethro Tull’s repertoire.

The performance is in a quasi-operatic structure with virtual guests on video and some additional newly-written songs to round off the elements of the story. Heavy Horses, Farm On The Freeway, Songs From The Wood sit alongside Aqualung, Living In The Past, Wind-Up, A New Day Yesterday, The Witch’s Promise, Locomotive Breath and other favourites – often with slightly re-written lyrics to better tell the tale.

Accompanied by David Goodier (bass), John O’Hara (keyboards), Florian Opahle (guitar), Scott Hammond (drums) and surprise virtual guests, Ian Anderson begins the touring schedule in the UK followed by Russian, European and South American dates before the end of the year.

Tour dates to be confirmed soon!

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Thoughts from Ian Anderson

The repertoire of Jethro Tull has been a huge part of my life over the last forty-seven years so it is great fun to find a new way to present some of my best-known songs in a different and fitting context.

As a tribute to the original 18th Century agriculturalist whose name our agent “borrowed” back in February 1968, I have imagined a scenario where the pioneering pursuit of improved crop-growing and farming methodology might apply to the world of today and tomorrow. (Yawn, yawn but who else is going to feed the planet?)

When this notion first occurred to me last Summer, I had no inkling that, when I examined all of my song material – especially the lyrics, there would be so many perfect fits in regard to song subject and references.

The life story of the original Tull (in as much as we have recorded historical detail of it) has so many interesting and workable parallels. Wind Up, Heavy Horses, Aqualung, Back to the family, Farm On The Freeway and Songs From The Wood amongst others were natural inclusions. A few others were bent into shape with a slight re-write of lyrics and five new songs round off the intended setlist.

Some of the material will be accompanied by brief performance inserts of our “virtual guests” on the big HD video screen. Instead of spoken introductions to the songs in the show, there will be the use of that operatic device, the “recitative”, where the links are made by short sung vocal segments in a usually-simple musical backdrop, making it a little easier and more entertaining for non-English-speaking audiences.

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