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Steve Jobs meets Shakespeare in Henry V-inspired opera

'Steve V (King Different)'  uses excerpts of the original text interspersed with modern music

Once more unto the breach, dear friends? It’s not a line you would have expected to hear from the late Steve Jobs, but with the opening of a new French opera marrying strands of his life with that of Henry V, it could well happen.

The new show, Steve V (King Different), has been dubbed a “multimedia opera” by creators Roland Auzet and Fabrice Melquiot, which is set in Silicon Valley but based on Shakespeare’s play about the harsh king.

They claim it “brings together two great figures of history; Steve Jobs, the king of computers, and Henry V, king of England, who almost wore the crown of France,” in a show that uses excerpts from the original text intertwined with modern music – including rap. 

Opening last night at the French Theatre de la Renaissance in Oullins, Lyon, the show is loosely based on the life of Jobs and his taking up the role of Apple’s chief executive for the second time, paralleled with Henry V and his taking up of the crown.

Though there is a gap of 500 years between the two, Melquiot and Auzet claim that Jobs and Henry V have more in common than at first glance; both fought hard, drawn-out battles for their crowning victories, be it against company boards and Microsoft or the French at Agincourt.

The opera, which makes use of video features in the performance and includes a range of music, from classical to rap, singing to spoken word, runs until next week.