Opera Scotland

Kit Hesketh-Harvey Suggest updates

Born  Zomba, Nyasaland (Malawi),  30 April 1957.

Died Norfolk, 1 February 2023.

English librettist, performer, writer.

He was a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral before studying English at Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar.  He joined the BBC as a producer through the 1980s and wrote the screenplay for the Merchant Ivory film of Maurice (1987, adapted from E M Forster).

He performed a successful and witty cabaret act for several years called Kit and the Widow, with pianist Richard Sisson. They appeared several tmes on at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  In a later partnership with James McConnel he performed as Kit and McConnel.  He was a frequent panellist on BBC radio entertainment programmes Quote Unquote and Just a Minute.  As an actor he appeared regularly in pantomime in Guildford (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre).

He translated several opera libretti for Scottish Opera (Die Fledermaus, The Magic Flute), ENO (Il turco in Italia), Royal Opera (The Bartered Bride), Opera North (The Merry Widow).

Original writing included two musicals with James McConnel (Writing Orlando, Yusupov) and two operas - The Life and Death of Alexander Litvinenko (for Anthony Bolton) and Varjak Paw (for Julian Phillips).

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