Townshend’s Classic Quadrophenia in Tanglewood

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No, the Boston Pops Orchestra didn’t smash their instruments after the performance… (Cartoon by David Skinner; used with permission)

The first performance of a limited run billed as “Pete Townshend’s Classic Quadrophenia” took place last night (Sept. 2) in rainy Lenox, MA at Tanglewood. Scheduled in between North American concerts by The Who in August and South American shows this fall, Townshend is also bringing the classical version of his 1973 rock opera to prestigious music halls in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles later this month. The primary vocalist is tenor Alfie Boe. with additional vocals by Townshend and Billy Idol .

Saturday night’s concert featured the Boston Pops Orchestra and conductor Keith Lockhart. On Sept. 9 and 10, the production will be performed at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, led by conductor Robert Ziegler. The Chicago date, at the Rosemont Theatre, to benefit The Who charity, Teen Cancer America, features the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra, Chicago Children’s Choir and also features guest singer Eddie Vedder. The final performance, at the Greek Theatre, in Los Angeles on Sept. 16, will also be led by conductor Robert Ziegler. Tickets are available here and here.

As Townshend himself wrote on his Facebook page today, he was “struck with wonder at the amazing work done by the Boston Pops Orchestra and their incredible conductor Keith Lockhart.” He described the choir as “a force of nature” and called Boe and Idol “fantastically good,” noting that Boe “has the onerous job of being compared to Roger Daltrey.”

Quadrophenia features numerous classic rock favorites including “5:15,” “The Punk Meets the Godfather,” “Love Reign O’er Me,” “Doctor Jimmy” and “The Real Me,” among them.

Watch opening number “I Am the Sea”

Here’s the follow-up, “The Real Me”

Related: See where Quadrophenia ranks on our list of top studio double albums of all-time

Watch “Helpless Dancer”

Watch “Love Reign O’er Me”


Pete Townshend’s Classic Quadrophenia Remaining Tour Dates

Sept 09 – New York, NY – Metropolitan Opera House
Sept 10 – New York, NY – Metropolitan Opera House
Sept 13 – Chicago, IL – Rosemont Theatre
Sept 16 – Los Angeles, CA – The Greek Theatre

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