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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 5 June, 2020

#Bill Clinton

FORMER US PRESIDENT Bill Clinton has made it to the stage… kind of.

Clinton is the inspiration behind a new opera written by Bonnie Montgomery, called Billy Blythe.

The title of the opera comes from Clinton’s birth name – William Jefferson Blythe III – and focuses on his colourful and sometimes turbulent childhood. Speaking to US News and World Report, Montgomery says the opera is “a snapshot of a day of his life in Hot Springs in the 1950s.”

She explains why Clinton was an ideal subject: “Clinton’s life is very operatic, over the top, the perfect operatic vision.”

Bill Clinton was born in 1946 in Arkansas. He never met his father, William Jefferson Blythe Jr, who died three months before his son was born.

When Billy (as he was then known) was four years old his mother, Virginia Dell Cassisdy, married Roger Clinton – a figure would loom large over Bill’s life.

In his autobiography, Bill Clinton described his step-father an alcoholic and gambler who was often physically abusive.

The climax of the production shows “a pivotal moment in Billy Blythe’s coming of age because he has to stand up to his step-father, Roger Clinton, in a life-changing domestic conflict.”

One word of warning: the production will only cover Clinton’s early life. So if you’re hoping for an operatic interpretation of certain Oval Office shenanigans, you’ll have to wait for the sequel.