English National Opera’s challenging 2011-2012 Season

28/06/2011

 

English National Opera 2011-2012: A challenging season is unveiled (RJ)

There’s a strong contemporary feel about the ENO’s ambitious new season with four operas by living composers which will explore modern social and political themes.

Leading the charge is John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer in which the award-winning director Tom Morris directs the London stage premiere of an opera which chronicles the 1985 Achille Lauro hijacking. Alan Opie sings Klinghoffer and Baldu Brönneman conducts.

He is closely followed by two interesting contemporary German composers. Detlev Glanert’s Caligula , to be directed by Benedict Andrews, is based on a play by Albert Camus which focuses on the self-destructive nature of the political dictator. W olfgang Rihm’s Jakob Lenz, by contrast, is described as “an enthralling and thought-provoking exposé of how society makes pariahs of schizophrenics” and will be directed by Sam Brown at the Hampstead Theatre..

Rufus Morris will direct a new opera by British rock star Damon Albarn, who in Dr Dee ponders British ritual and symbolism as he revisits the life of the influential Elizabethan magician, alchemist and soothsayer John Dee. British opera will also be represented by Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd directed by David Alden with rising star Benedict Nelson in the title role and Toby Spence as Captain Vere.

ENO will also be staging the UK premiere of Mieczysław Weinberg’s masterpiece, The Passenger, which examines the terrible power the Holocaust holds over its victims and perpetrators. David Pountney will direct.

There is to be a new production of The Marriage of Figaro directed by Fiona Shaw with Paul Daniel in the conductor’s seat, and ENO’s first ever production of a Rameau opera, Castor and Pollux with Allan Clayton as Castor and Roderick Williams as Pollux. Deborah Warner will direct Eugene Onegin, (a co-production with the Met) starring Auden Iversen and Amanda Echalaz.

Barry Banks returns to ENO to play the leading role in The Tales of Hoffmann while Georgia Jarman will be the women in his life. ENO Musical Director Edward Gardner makes his debut as a Wagner conductor in The Flying Dutchman directed by Jonathan Kent with James Creswell as the Dutchman.

Finally, ENO is reviving some of its most popular productions: Jonathan Miller’s The Elixir of Love with Ben Johnson, Lucy Crowe and Benedict Nelson in leading roles; Catherine Malfitano’s Tosca; David McVicar’s Der Rosenkavalier with Sarah Connolly as Octavian; and Anthony Minghella’s Madam Butterfly.

Dates of  First Performances

The Elixir of Love , Donizetti , opens 15 September 2011
The Passenger
, Weinberg, opens 19 September 2011
The Marriage of Figaro
, Mozart, opens 5 October 2011
Castor and Pollux
, Rameau, opens 24 October 2011
Eugene Onegin
, Tchaikovsky, opens 12 November 2011
Tosca
, Puccini, opens 26 November 2011
Der Rosenkavalier
, Strauss, opens 28 January 2012
The Tales of Hoffmann
, Offenbach, opens 10 February 2012
The Death of Klinghoffer
, John Adams, opens 25 February 2012
Jakob Lenz
, Wolfgang Rihm, opens 17 April 2012, Hampstead Theatre
The Flying Dutchman
, Wagner, opens 28 April 2012
Madam Butterfly
, Puccini, opens 8 May 2012
Caligula
, Detlev Glanert, opens 25 May 2012
Billy Budd
, Britten, opens 18 June 2012
Doctor Dee
, Damon Albarn, opens 25 June 2012

Roger Jones

English National Opera’s web site is HERE

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