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Fanny & Stella's Last Day Out

dedicated to Derri

Opera Short




Young Man

Beadle / Police Officer / Doctor

Low Voice Chorus


Soprano / High Countertenor


Bass-Baritone / Bass

Low Voices


1.(=picc.)1.1.1 - - 2 perc - pno -


C.20 Minutes

Programme Note

Fanny and Stella, whose names were Frederick William Park and Thomas Ernest Boulton respectively, were two individuals in Victorian London known for challenging gender norms and societal expectations. They gained notoriety in the mid-19th century for their unconventional lifestyles and for openly defying the conventional gender roles of the time.

Fanny and Stella were part of London's underground drag and queer community, often dressing in extravagant women's clothing and attending social events. In 1870 they were arrested and put on trial for "conspiring and inciting persons to commit an unnatural offence." The trial, marked by sensationalism and public interest, revealed details about their lives, relationships, and the hidden world of Victorian cross-dressing.

Despite the social and legal challenges they faced, Fanny and Stella became symbols of resistance to gender norms in Victorian society. Their story reflects the complexities and struggles faced by individuals who defied societal expectations during a time when such expressions of identity were met with prejudice and legal repercussions.


Composition Insight 

Libretto by: Jessica Walker

Conductor: Michael Rosewell

Director: Bill Banks Jones

Designer: Sarah Booth

Lighting Designer: Colin Eversdijk

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