Tam's Tall Tales

- Anthony Blunt – The Opera

Anthony Blunt – The Opera

I am told by a most reliable source that the best-selling Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith (picture on right via Wikimedia) is in the process of co-writing the libretto for a new opera, based on the double life of a notorious spy. McCall Smith’s previous expedition into opera was a version of Macbeth, set among the baboons of the Okavango Delta.

Alexander McCall Smith, whose No 1 Ladies Detective Agency was a global best seller is teaming up with Ben Macintyre, another Scottish author, to write the libretto of “Anthony Blunt – The Opera.”

Blunt was one of the notorious group of Cambridge educated British intelligence officers who wreaked havoc as they passed huge amounts of secrets to their masters in the Soviet Union. Blunt was one of the group which included the notorious Burgess and Maclean, who defected to Russia in 1951 and Kim Philby (picture on the left from a Soviet Union postage stamp via Wikimedia) who was infiltrated from Lebanon to Moscow in 1963.

Blunt, like the others, was from the top social drawer and worked for the British Secret Service, but betrayed his trust over decades. Although his treachery was uncovered in 1964, Blunt was never prosecuted and was only stripped of his knighthood when the affair became public in 1979. His kid-glove treatment is regarded as the ultimate British Establishment cover-up.

The opera’s libretto is being co-written with Ben Macintyre whose latest book, “A Spy Amongst Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal –” has won many plaudits.

For more on Alexander McCall Smith and his earlier opera project see Tam Salutes a National Treasure.

Please give me whatever feedback comes to mind via tamfromrampant@gmail.com.

Tam O'Ranter
August 2014

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