The Enchanted Pig by Jonathan Dove
Libretto by Alasdair Middleton
Nov 10th to 19th, 2017
Nov 10th to 19th, at Jacksons Lane Theatre in Highgate, Hampstead Garden Opera will present a magical new production of Jonathan Dove’s The Enchanted Pig, directed by Laura Attridge. This will be the company’s second Jonathan Dove opera, following on from their critically acclaimed 2013 production of Mansfield Park. Having been commissioned and first produced by the Young Vic, this captivating opera is a wonderful tapestry of musical and theatrical styles. Humorous yet touching, Dove has created a deeply lovable work which can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Stage Director: Laura Attridge • Music Director: Hannah Quinn • With the HGO Orchestra
“The Enchanted Pig is a magical journey of an opera,” says director Laura Attridge, “Based on a Romanian fairy tale, the story explores the different forms love can take, and celebrates love’s transformative power. Our protagonist is Flora, a princess who goes literally to the ends of the earth (and beyond!) to rescue her husband, the eponymous Enchanted Pig, from the Old Woman who has kidnapped him. On the way, she meets an extraordinary array of characters, each with something to teach her, including Mr and Mrs North Wind, Moon, Sun and Day.
The cast of eight are additionally required to play some fifteen named characters between them, as well as each playing a Chorus role. For me, exploring the richness of the piece is proving one of the great joys of directing it, and I’m confident that it will be unlike any opera our audience has experienced before. It’s hilarious but it’s also moving and meaningful: it balances darkness and light beautifully, and it will appeal to all ages, no matter what their past experience of opera.”
HGO’s The Enchanted Pig provides a rare opportunity to experience a work by an extraordinary living composer. With over twenty operatic works to his name, Jonathan Dove has proved his mastery of the idiom through his imaginative vocal and orchestral writing which connects with and excites audiences and artists alike. With an excellent libretto by Alastair Middleton, “the work is full of dramatic and musical character, which makes this piece an absolute joy to conduct”, says HGO Music Director, Hannah Quinn.
“The work is unusually scored for an ensemble of instruments which are not often found in an opera pit; Accordion, Harp, Cello, Double Bass, Trombone, Percussion and Piano. This unique sound palette allows the piece to move fluidly between a number of different musical styles; operetta, music theatre, comedy and vaudeville to name but a few.”
Laura Attridge is a maker of opera and theatre, and Artistic Director of And So Forth. She has directed new pieces of theatre at venues including the Southwark Playhouse, Arts Theatre, Tristan Bates Theatre and Camden People’s Theatre. Her opera direction to date includes two France/UK Tours for Opera Loki (Così fan tutte, 2016; La bohème, 2015), and she has worked as an Assistant Director for companies such as Glyndebourne Festival Opera, English Touring Opera, Opera Holland Park and Blackheath Halls Opera. She is also a librettist and published poet.
Hannah Quinn, an alumnus of the National Opera Studio, is a répétiteur and conductor who has worked for companies such as The Royal Ballet (Symphonic Dances, Les Enfants Terribles, Obsidian Tear) and English National Opera (The Barber of Seville, La bohème, The Mikado). She has also worked for youth companies at Scottish Opera and Glyndebourne. Hannah has appeared on BBC Radio 3 as a song recitalist and has recently conducted a performance of Michael Daugherty’s Flamingo at the Southbank Centre. In 2018, Hannah will be working for English Touring Opera as Head of Music Staff for the company’s spring season.
Hampstead Garden Opera, in being since 1990, is a company committed to the development of young singers, and stages two productions each year. Its consistently high musical, vocal and productions standards make HGO an important part of the artistic life of north London.
Hampstead Garden Opera won the Off West End (Offies) Opera Production Award 2013 for its 2012 staging of Così fan tutte, and were finalists for the same award in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Offies.
“The singers are either semi-amateurs or fledgling professionals, but under Oliver-John Ruthven’s direction and with two brilliant young pianists they put on a sparkling show. William Davies’s Rushworth is a comic booby with pathos, William Morgan’s Crawford is louche and persuasive, and Teresa Pells is utterly convincing as the coquettish and scheming Maria; Sarah Denbee projects veiled power as Fanny. And if the score carries echoes of Sondheim, that’s nothing to be ashamed of: Dove’s theatrical judgment is impeccable, and his brightly-coloured music with its duets, quartets, and tuttis bowls delightfully along.” Michael Church’s 4 star review of Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park for The Independent.
Performances of The Enchanted Pig:
Evenings at 7.30 pm – Nov 10, 11, & 14-18
Matinées at 4.00pm – Sundays Nov 12 & 19
Matinée at 2.30pm – Saturday Nov 18Jacksons Lane Theatre, Highgate, London N6 5AA
Tickets: (unreserved) £27 (Premium Seats) £22 (General Admission) (Concessions £20 – Nov 10 & 11)
Box Office: 0800 411 8881