Pete Townshend’s Classic Quadrophenia tour made a stop in New York City over the weekend for a couple of shows at the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center on September 9th and 10th. The shows were conducted by Robert Ziegler, who led an outstanding orchestra that was hand picked for the occasion. Ziegler also conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on the original recording of Classic Quadrophenia that was orchestrated by Rachel Fuller and released on Deutsche Grammophon in 2015.
The cast of characters were performed by the same crew as the Tanglewood show, with Alfie Boe taking the lead of Jimmy, Pete playing the Godfather and the Father as well as performing acoustic guitar on "Drowned" and "I’m One", and Billy Idol taking the role of the Ace Face / Bellboy.
Rachel joined everyone on stage at the end of the performance to receive a huge bouquet of flowers. After taking their bows to thunderous applause and a long standing ovation, Alfie, Pete and Billy retook the stage for an encore of "The Real Me".
There are just two shows left on this mini-tour of Classic Quadrophenia. Tickets are still left for the shows at the Rosemont Theatre in Chicago on September 13, and the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on September 16. This is truly a special show, so you don’t want to miss it!
Many thanks to everyone who contributed photos, videos and reviews!
Here are a few reviews of the Met shows, plus a recent interview Pete did with Ultimate Classic Rock.
Review by Lisa Seckler-Roode
Classic Quadrophenia is the triumphant completion of a long, frustrating journey for Pete Townsend. From his struggles trying to explain it to American audiences in 73-74, trying to make it work in concert for The Who live over the years, what I saw last night has CONFIRMED that Pete Townshend is the Cole Porter / Gershwin of the post-WW2 generation.
Rachel Fuller has taken EXACTLY what Pete heard in his head when writing the score, and has translated it BRILLIANTLY for orchestral and choral use. It's bombastic and tenderly aching, and YES, the teenage angst comes shining through.
Alfie Boe's voice is a force of nature. He does NOT try to steal Daltrey's thunder in any form, but has created (with that fabulous voice) a stage role to be coveted by any classical singer. Billy Idol is fabulous, and yes.... respecting Moon's GREAT original Bellboy.
I loved 5:15. Boe got the crowd rolling (at The Met) singing along. Just fantastic!
Punk Meets The Godfather is Townshend v Boe and sheer joy, along with Drowned and Dirty Jobs.
I've Had Enough was pure power. I found myself holding my breath as Boe hammered through it. It's a tough piece to sing.
The Rock and Love Reign O'er Me is sheer bliss. The point when it becomes thunderously clear what a bloody genius Pete Townshend is.
The orchestra and chorus were SPOT on, and were clearly enjoying themselves. I loved the fact there's a heavily tattoed cellist rockin' away.
MY GENERATION. OUR GENERATION.