ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA ANNOUNCES ITS 2017/18 SEASON
Website – www.eno.org
- ENO’s 2017/18 season features four new productions and five revivals at the London Coliseum, supported by a number of projects in other venues
- Daniel Kramer directs his first opera as ENO Artistic Director, a new production of La traviata starring Claudia Boyle in her role debut as Violetta
- Martyn Brabbins begins his first full season as ENO Music Director, conducting performances of Marnie and The Marriage of Figaro
- ENO presents the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s latest opera, Marnie, directed by Michael Mayer and conducted by Martyn Brabbins
- A new production of Verdi’s Aida opens the 17/18 season, conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson. After sell-out performances of his Olivier Award-winning Akhnaten, Phelim McDermott returns to direct
- Cal McCrystal directs a new production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, starring ENO Harewood Artist Samantha Price in the title role alongside ENO favourites Andrew Shore and Yvonne Howard
- Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and ENO present a new production of The Turn of the Screw, directed by multiple Olivier Award-winner and Artistic Director of the Open Air Theatre, Timothy Sheader. ENO Mackerras Fellow Toby Purser conducts
- Revivals of audience favourites include Jonathan Miller’s The Barber of Seville, Richard Jones’s Rodelinda, Phelim McDermott’s Satyagraha, Robert Carsen’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Fiona Shaw’s The Marriage of Figaro
- A raft of exciting British conductors new to ENO includes Leo McFall, Alexander Soddy and Hilary Griffiths. Keri-Lynn Wilson and Karen Kamensek return after acclaimed debuts in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons respectively
- Over 93% of cast and conductors in the 2017/18 season are British born, trained or resident. Rodelinda, Iolanthe and Satyagraha all feature casts that are entirely British born, trained or resident
- More than 15 principal roles across the 17/18 season will be taken by current or former ENO Harewood Artists.
- Over 39,500 tickets are available for £20 or less across the 17/18 season (500 for every performance)
Garsington Opera and Coastal Culture Network
As a result of Magna Vitae and Garsington Opera for All’s pioneering education and outreach work integrated with free public screenings of opera in isolated coastal and rural communities, a new online network – the Coastal Culture Network (CCN) – has been formed. CCN aims to strengthen the network of cultural provision around the coast by bringing together coastal local authorities, cultural organisations, Coastal Community Teams and others with an interest in the role of culture in seaside locations. Read more
BBC Proms 2017 – Friday 14 July – Saturday 9 September 2017: the world’s largest classical music festival reaches new audiences with a Relaxed Prom, ‘Water Music’ in Hull and an array of young artists
122 years since it was founded and 90 years since the BBC took over the running, financing and broadcasting of the world’s largest classical music festival, the BBC Proms today announces its 2017 season. Presenting over eight weeks of events and more than 90 concerts the festival continues its founder-conductor Henry Wood’s aim of bringing the best classical music to the widest audience. Read more
The Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich in 2017/18
The Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich was founded 150 years ago and plans a season of celebratory events. This coincides with their having to move out temporarily of their home for the last 150 years, the Tonhalle building itself, which is in dire need of refurbishment and modernisation, particularly the backstage and foyer areas. The works will take a full three years and in that period most of their Zurich concerts will take place in a newly constructed hall within an existing industrial building (the ‘Maaghalle’) in the northern part of the city. Management will do its utmost to ensure its existing (often elderly, conservative and not especially discerning) audience makes the trek to a part of the city hitherto possibly unknown to them and less easy to access than the Tonhalle building by the lake and in the centre of the city. It hopes however that its new trendy location may attract a younger audience, who know the area for its clubs, modern art galleries and eclectic shops. Time will tell, but already two thirds of the subscriptions have been sold even before the programme was announced – now what does that tell you about Zurich’s concert life? Read more
GRANGE PARK OPERA IN 2017
A NEW OPERA HOUSE: A MAGICAL SETTING in the Surrey Hills Opening on 8 June 2017 with world-renowned tenor, Joseph Calleja, in Tosca.
On 8 June 2017, the curtain will rise on a brand new horseshoe shaped opera house – the first in the UK in decades. Grange Park Opera, one of Europe’s leading opera festivals, will open The Theatre in the Woods – and the 2017 season – at West Horsley Place, a 350-acre estate in Surrey, inherited in 2014 by author Bamber Gascoigne from his aunt, the Duchess of Roxburghe. Read more
Season 2017/18 at the Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House’s annual announcement of its coming season brought presentations from all the Garden’s big guns. This was the first time a presentation had been given by Oliver Mears, the new Director of Opera (although given the long planning involved in these things, he was reticent to give a date at which his own stamp will be evident). Chief Executive Alex Beard was there, as was Sir Antonio Pappano, Deborah MacMillan (widow of Kenneth MacMillan), Kevin O’Hare (Director of The Royal Ballet) and Sarah Crabtree (senior producer).
The 2017/18 season is an exciting one, ranging from the world premiere of George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence (on the back of the success of Written on Skin and again with Martin Crimp as writer and Katie Mitchell as director; May 2018) through new productions of Lohengrin and Semiramide – and Carmen and Bohème – to the exciting announcement of a staging of Janáček’s From the House of the Dead.
The season opens with that new Bohème, Pappano in the driving seat and Richard Jones directing. The cast includes Nicole Car as Mimì and Michael Fabiano as Rodolfo (September/October 2017; and in June 2018 with Nicola Luisotti conducting and Matthew Polenzani as Rodolfo). Pappano also conducts Rossini’s Semiramide. That’s an exciting prospect given the success of the Proms performance in the not too distant past: here it will be directed by David Alden and with such powerhouse names as Joyce DiDonato and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo. (November/December 2017). Pappano also leads Verdi’s Macbeth in March/April 2018. The director will be Phyllida Lloyd and, if she shows, Lady Macbeth will be taken by Anna Netrebko. This superstar’s propensity for cancelling was tackled in the questions from the assembled press following her recent cancellation in Norma here at the Garden; her voice is “in transition” apparently. D’Arcangelo also stars (Banquo) with the man himself being sung by Željko Lučić. More Pappano still: Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, directed by Richard Jones and starring Eva-Maria Westbroek as Katerina Ismailova. John Tomlinson appears as Boris Ismailov.
Perhaps the Verdi Les vêpres siciliennes was glossed over a little in the exposition, especially given that it is conducted by the massively experienced man-of-the-pit, Maurizio Benini. The cast includes Malin Byström, Bryan Hymel and Michael Volle; the director is Stefan Herheim (October/November 2017).
It is that From the House of the Dead (March 2018) that has my pulse racing. The cast includes Willard W. White; the conductor is Teodor Currentzis and the director is Krysztof Warikoeski. Even more exciting is that this inaugurates a six-year Janáček cycle.
The new Carmen (February/March 2018), excitingly, is conducted by Jakub Hrůša in a fresh, “highly physical” production by Barrie Kosky. The cast includes Anna Goryachova and Kostas Smorginas (Escamilio) with Francesco Meli and Andrea Carè sharing the role of Don José. Complementing this is the work of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at Wilton Music Hall, with La Tragédie de Carmen (Southbank Sinfonia, November 2017).
A new Lohengrin will satisfy Wagnerians to an extent. It will be conducted by Andris Nelsons with Klaus Florian Vogt as Lohengrin, Kristine Opolais as Elsa and Christine Goeke as Ortrud. Producer David Alden returns after a break. But wait … on the horizon (September and November 2018) comes a Ring cycle conducted by Pappano. The cast includes Nina Stemme, Emily Magee and Ain Anger. Full details to be announced, one assumes.
And there’s to be a world premiere of some Donizetti. A mere 178 years after it was completed, Mark Elder gives the first performance, in a concert rendition, of L’Ange de Nisida with Joyce El-Khoury as Sylvia and David Junghoon Kim as Leone de Casaldi. (July 2018.)
Old friends are here as well: the McVicar Zauberflöte (September/October 2017, cast including Roderick Williams as Papageno); a more recent friend in the revival of Katie Mitchell’s Donizetti Lucia (Lisette Oropesa as Lucia, October/November 2017). There will be Cav and Pag conducted by Daniel Oren with the exciting announcement that Santuzza will be taken in December by Elina Garanča. Nedda in Pag will be Carmen Giannattasio, with Simon Keenlyside as Tonio. Another McVicar production, Rigoletto, straddles the turn of the year with Hvorostovsky in the title role. Gilda will be shared between Sofia Fomina and Lucy Crowe; more McVicar still with Salome (Swedish soprano Malin Byström in the title role, January 2018).
That perennial success, Jonathan Kent’s Tosca, returns in January/February 2018 with quite a trio of high-flyers: Adrienne Pieczonka, Angela Gheorghiu and Martina Serafin in the title role. The Cavaradossis are Joseph Calleja, Riccardo Massi and Massimo Giordano; intriguingly, Gerald Finley will be Scarpia. Another crowd-puller is Don Giovanni, here conducted by Minkowski, directed by Kasper Holten and with Mariusz Kwiecień as the Don. Nocola Luisotti conducts Falstaff directed by Robert Carsen with Bryn Terfel as Sir John, Anna Prohaska as Nannetta, Ana María Martínez as Alice and Simon Keenlyside as Ford.
Off-ROH activities seem very healthy, with the another world premiere: Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Coraline (Barbican Theatre, libretto after Neil Gaiman conducted by Sian Edwards). Il ritorno d’Ulysse in patria is at the Roundhouse (January 2018). Another world premiere features a new work, Mamzer Bastard, by Na’ama Zisser, Guildhall School of Music & Drama/Royal Opera Doctoral Composer in Residence. At Printworks, London there is the world premiere of a new work by Tansy Davies and Nick Drake (June 2018). While Tansy Davies’ work may as yet have no name, Philip Venables’ work, while it has a name (4.48 Psychosis), currently has no home. Though this will not be a world premiere – it was done in Hammersmith in May 2016 – the presence of Sound Intermedia, who recently worked on the RFH film showing of Under the Skin, implies something special afoot.
Kevin O’Hare announced the Royal Ballet’s plans. There are five world premieres: Swan Lake (Petipa/Ivanov with additional choreography by Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett); a one-act ballet by Twyla Tharp (The Illustrated Farewell, set to Haydn’s Symphony No. 45, “Farewell”); a one-act ballet by Arthur Pita to a commissioned score by Frank Moon (on Dorothy Scarborough’s novel and silent film The Wind); a one-act ballet by Wayne McGregor (designs by noted ceramist Edmund de Waal); and a one-acter by Christopher Wheeldon, The Winter’s Tale, with designs by fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu.
A celebration of Kenneth MacMillan on the 25th anniversary of his death finds five ballet companies coming together on the Royal Opera stage for the first time (Royal Balled, Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet and Scottish Ballet). MacMillan’s Sea of Troubles will be staged (inspired by Hamlet) alongside Jeux and a revival of Manon. The Leonard Bernstein Centenary will be celebrated via a triple-bill of one-act ballets by all three Royal Ballet associated choreographers while a triple bill Obsidian Tear/Marguerite and Armand/Elite Syncopations has music by Esa-Pekka Salonen in Obsidian Tear.
Revivals and repertory includes Hofesh Shechter’s Untouchable, Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Ashton’s Sylvia and Peter Wright’s Nutcracker and Giselle. In addition, in September The Royal Ballet celebrates Hull’s contribution to ballet with a day of Swan Lake-inspired activities.
The Royal Opera remains a beacon of light, presenting a season with a brilliant mix of the new, the very new (the world premieres) and the well-loved.
The Three Choirs Festival 2017: A Preview
The Three Choirs Festival, which was first held in 1715 is probably the oldest music festival in the world; is there another festival that has been in existence for over 300 years? The Festival is held in turn in one of the three cathedral cities of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester. This year, by rotation, the Festival, which takes place between 22 and 29 July, will be hosted by the city of Worcester, The Director of Music at Worcester Cathedral, Peter Nardone, is Artistic Director of the Festival and he’s devised a wide-ranging programme of events. All the performances mentioned in this preview will take place in Worcester Cathedral unless otherwise stated. Read more
GLYNDEBOURNE FESTIVAL 2017
ON SCREEN: 8 JUNE La traviata Recorded Live
Streamed via glyndebourne.com and in cinemas nationwide a recording of Tom Cairns’s 2014 production of La traviata. Featuring Michael Fabiano and Venera Gimadieva.
ON SCREEN: 6 JULY – Hamlet LIVE
Streamed live via glyndebourne.com and in cinemas nationwide: the world premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet, featuring a cast of some of the finest singing actors of the moment including; Allan Clayton, Sarah Connolly, Barbara Hannigan and John Tomlinson.
ON SCREEN: 3 AUGUST – La clemenza di Tito LIVE
Streamed live via glyndebourne.com and in cinemas nationwide: Glyndebourne’s new production of Mozart’s last opera.