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English National Opera 2011-12 Season | reviews, news & interviews

English National Opera 2011-12 Season

English National Opera 2011-12 Season

Contemporary music and 11 new productions mark strong new season

Edward Gardnder of the ENO, whose 2011-12 season is both 'ambitious with repertoire and resourceful with homegrown talent'

Contemporary music and 11 new productions are at the heart of a strong ENO 2011-12 season announced today. Highlights include a new opera from Damon Albarn (Doctor Dee) on the extraordinary life of Elizabethan alchemist and intellectual John Dee, the UK premiere of Detlev Glanert's Caligula, Wolfgang Rihm's chamber opera (which will open at the Hampstead Theatre) Jakob Lenz and the first Coliseum staging of John Adams's The Death of Klinghoffer, "the most controversial opera of the past 50 years", according to artistic director John Berry.

Contemporary music and 11 new productions are at the heart of a strong ENO 2011-12 season announced today. Highlights include a new opera from Damon Albarn (Doctor Dee) on the extraordinary life of Elizabethan alchemist and intellectual John Dee, the UK premiere of Detlev Glanert's Caligula, Wolfgang Rihm's chamber opera (which will open at the Hampstead Theatre) Jakob Lenz and the first Coliseum staging of John Adams's The Death of Klinghoffer, "the most controversial opera of the past 50 years", according to artistic director John Berry.

Returning productions include the superlative Catherine Malfitano-directed Tosca, with Clare Rutter (Tosca) and Gwyn Hughes Jones (Mario Cavaradossi), and the peppy Jonathan Miller Elixir of Love with Ben Johnson (Nemorino) and Lucy Crowe (Adina). There are two operatic resuscitations: the first ENO staging of Castor et Pollux by Baroque genius Jean-Philippe Rameau and the London premiere of David Pountney's acclaimed staging of Mieczyslaw Weinberg's The Passenger (its world premiere at the Bregenz Festival was glowingly reviewed by Stephen Walsh on theartsdesk).

British singers and directors are brought centre stage. There are new productions from Richard Jones (The Tales of Hoffmann), Fiona Shaw (The Marriage of Figaro), Deborah Warner (Eugene Onegin), Jonathan Kent (The Flying Dutchman), Tom Morris (The Death of Klinghoffer) and Rufus Norris (Doctor Dee). Leading roles are taken up by the likes of Amanda Roocroft (Marschalin), Sarah Connolly (Octavian), Andrew Shore (Jakob Lenz), Barry Banks (Hoffmann), Toby Spence (Lensky, Captain Vere), Benedict Nelson (Billy Budd), Iain Paterson (Figaro), Sophie Bevan (Telaire), Alan Opie (Klinghoffer) and Sir John Tomlinson (Baron Ochs).

John Berry said the season would demonstrate the "power of opera to explore politically charged events". Certainly, there will charged responses to the two operas (The Passenger and The Death of Klinghoffer) that dramatise two moments in 20th-century Jewish history. Expect pickets for the opening of Klinghoffer, about the real story of the 1985 murder of an elderly Israeli passenger on the liner the Achille Lauro at the hands of Palestinian terrorists.

The most striking aspect to the season, however, is its boldness. The opportunity granted the ENO by the Arts Council, who pretty uniquely chose not to cut their £17.5 million subsidy, has been used to be both ambitious with repertoire and resourceful with homegrown talent. A very promising path.

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 at the 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

Comments

Looks like this is going to be a great season.

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