Roger Daltrey is performing The Who's 1969 hit rock opera Tommy at the Royal Albert Hall next week, in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.
As if that isn't enough of a big deal, he has also invited a bunch of Middlesex University students to create a video projection to be shown on a huge LED screen during the live show.
Using Facebook, the students were invited to post videos, animation and storyboards reinterpreting Tommy and its difficult themes, which include abuse and disability.
"The genius of Pete Townshend is that his work, like that of all great artists, is timeless," says Daltrey. "What the students have been able to do is to get rid of the stereotyped images of Tommy that we all know and love, and come up with their own fresh interpretation."
It all started at the end of last year when Colin Payne, Middlesex University's creative director, came up with the idea of asking students to use The Who's music to inspire them in a new course that merges technology and art. He approached his old friend Rob Lee, the editor of The Who's official website, to ask if Daltrey could help students reinterpret his great work. Daltrey wanted to meet Payne immediately to discuss how the students would treat Tommy.
Four weeks later, Payne showed Daltrey the DVD of the students' work. "The joy and wonder on Roger's face was something I'll never forget," he says. "He was completely blown away. Sure, we were only watching a 10-minute montage of the initial idea – but he immediately gave the green light."
Roger Daltrey performs 'Tommy' at the Royal Albert Hall, London SW7 (www.thewho.com) 24 MarchReuse content