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English National Opera, 2010-11 Season | reviews, news & interviews

English National Opera, 2010-11 Season

English National Opera, 2010-11 Season

The complete listings for the ENO season at the London Coliseum 2010-11

Radamisto: David Alden directs ENO's first staging of Handel's opera about a marriage under siegephoto Ken Howard/Santa Fe Opera

English National Opera’s 2010-11 season includes 10 new productions, including ENO premieres of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia and Handel’s Radamisto. There will be two new contemporary operas for the main stage: the world premiere of a new opera by Nico Muhly and the UK premiere of A Dog’s Heart by Alexander Raskatov.

ENO directing debuts will be made by Benedict Andrews (The Return of Ulysses), Mike Figgis (Lucrezia Borgia), Terry Gilliam (The Damnation of Faust), Des McAnuff (Faust), Simon McBurney (A Dog’s Heart), Rufus Norris (Don Giovanni), Bartlett Sher (new Nico Muhly opera) and Dmitri Tcherniakov (Simon Boccanegra).

Edward Gardner, ENO’s music director, conducts Gounod’s Faust, Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust and Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. Also in the listings, a fourth collaboration with the Young Vic (Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses), and a roster of British singers and conductors including Richard Armstrong, Laurence Cummings, Paul Daniel, Rebecca Evans, Alastair Miles, Christine Rice, Amanda Roocroft, Toby Spence, John Tomlinson, Mark Wigglesworth and Willard White.

ENO has relaunched its Young Singers programme to develop 12 rising young professionals and give them performing opportunities. The singers’ scheme complements a development programme for orchestral students at the Royal College of Music and a pre-professional opera scheme.

Autumn 2010

New Production: FAUST Gounod (1818-1893)
Opens: 18 September 2010 (9 performances)
Conductor Edward Gardner; Director Des McAnuff
Cast includes: Toby Spence (Faust); Melody Moore (Marguerite); Iain Paterson (Mephistopheles)
A co-production with the Metropolitan Opera, New York set in a contemporary world of war. Des McAnuff s production highlights man’s loss of innocence and capability for destruction in a way that Gounod could never have foreseen but would certainly recognise. Des McAnuff is joined by designer Robert Brill, his collaborator on Guys and Dolls.

Makropoulos_c_Neil_LibbertTHE MAKROPULOS CASE
, Janácek (1854–1928)
Opens: 20 September 2010 (5 performances)
Conductor Richard Armstrong; Director Christopher Alden (2006)
Cast includes: Amanda Roocroft; Ryland Davies; Andrew Shore
A co-production with National Theatre, Prague, set in a dream-like vision of 1920s Prague (picture right, by Neil LIbbert). The enigmatic and sexually irresistible opera diva Emilia Marty has taken an elixir that enables her to live for more than 300 years. This powerful opera explores Emilia’s dilemma of whether to prolong her life a further 300 years.

Radamisto_at_Santa_Fe_c_Ken_HowardNew Production: RADAMISTO, Handel (1685–1759)
Opens: 7 October 2010 (8 performances)
Conductor Laurence Cummings; Director David Alden
Cast includes: Lawrence Zazzo (Radamisto); Christine Rice (Zenobia); Sophie Bevan (Polissena); Ailish Tynan (Tigrane)
A co-production with Santa Fe Opera (picture left by Ken Howard) adds to ENO’s powerful repertoire of Handel stagings. The opera shows the ability of a marriage to withstand assault by a tyrant, who orders a city to be stormed so that he may possess the married woman he craves.

Boheme_c_Tristram_KentonLA BOHEME, Puccini (1858–1924)
Opens: 18 October 2010 (13 performances)
Conductor Stephen Lord; Director Jonathan Miller
Cast includes: Gwyn Hughes Jones/Alfie Boe (Rodolfo); Elizabeth Llewellyn (Mimi)
A co-production with Cincinnati Opera. Jonathan Miller's well-loved production with designer Isabella Bywater set the action in atmospheric 1930s Paris, the era of the Depression. Together they have created an unsentimental view of bohemian life (picture right by Tristram Kenton).

New Production: DON GIOVANNI, Mozart (1756–1791)
Opens: 6 November 2010 (10 performances)
Conductor Kirill Karabits; Director Rufus Norris
Cast includes: Iain Paterson (Don Giovanni); Rebecca Evans (Donna Elvira); Katherine Broderick (Donna Anna); Brindley Sherratt (Leporello)
Theatre director Rufus Norris makes his operatic debut. He is joined by designer Ian McNeil (Billy Elliot, David Alden’s Tristan and Isolde and Ariodante). Ukrainian conductor Kirill Karabits, Chief Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, makes his London operatic debut.

bulgakov_heart_of_a_dog_bookUK Premiere: A DOG’S HEART, Alexander Raskatov (b. 1953)
Opens: 20 November 2010 (7 performances)
Conductor Garry Walker; Director Simon McBurney
Cast: To be announced
A De Nederlandse Opera/ENO production in collaboration with Complicite. Avant-garde Russian composer Alexander Raskatov’s first opera is based on Bulgakov’s satiric novel about a stray dog who becomes human through an experimental organ transplant. In his opera directing debut, Simon McBurney works with his regular Complicite collaborators, designer Michael Levine (ENO Madam Butterfly) and projections designer Finn Ross (Opera North’s The Adventures of Mr Broucek). Sharik the dog is created through puppetry by the Blind Summit Theatre Company who created the child in Anthony Minghella’s ENO Madam Butterfly.

Spring 2011

Timecode_by_Mike_FiggisNew Production: LUCREZIA BORGIA, Donizetti (1797-1848)
Opens: 31 January 2011 (9 performances)
Conductor Paul Daniel; Director Mike Figgis
Cast includes: Claire Rutter (Lucrezia Borgia); Michael Fabiano (Gennaro); Alastair Miles
ENO’s first-ever staging of Donizetti’s rarely performed Lucrezia Borgia, directed by the visionary British film and theatre director Mike Figgis, known for Leaving Las Vegas, Internal Affairs, People Show, Timecode (picture right © Mike Figgis) and Hotel.

Parsifal_c_Bill_RaffertyPARSIFAL, Wagner (1813 –1883)
Opens: 16 February 2011 (8 performances)
Conductor Mark Wigglesworth; Director Nikolaus Lehnhoff
Cast includes: Iain Paterson (Amfortas); John Tomlinson (Gurnemanz); Stuart Skelton (Parsifal); Irene Theorin (Kundry)
Nikolaus Lehnhoff’s acclaimed ENO staging (a co-production with San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera, Chicago) is regarded as one of the great Wagnerian productions of the last two decades. Wagner evoked the legend of the Holy Grail as his allegory for the archetypal struggle between good and evil, the sacred and the profane (picture left by Bill Rafferty).

Mikado_c_Alastair_MuirTHE MIKADO
, Gilbert & Sullivan (25th anniversary revival)
Opens: 26 February 2011 (9 performances)
Conductor Peter Robinson; Director Jonathan Miller (1986)
Cast includes: Alfie Boe (Nanki-Poo); Sophie Bevan (Yum-Yum); Richard Suart (Ko-Ko); Richard Angas (The Mikado); Donald Maxwell (Pooh-Bah); Anne Marie Owens (Katisha)
A co-production with Houston Grand Opera and Los Angeles Opera, Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed 1986 production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Japanese” satire (picture right by Alastair Muir) takes the story out of the tiny oriental town of Titipu and sets it in the faintly seedy grandeur of a 1930s English hotel – the perfect place for lampooning targets much closer to home. G K Chesterton compared the satire in the operetta to that in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels: "Gilbert pursued and persecuted the evils of modern England till they had literally not a leg to stand on exactly as Swift did… I doubt there is a single joke in the whole play that fits the Japanese. But all the jokes in the play fit the English.’

Benedict_Andrews_war_of_the_roses_sydneyNew Production: THE RETURN OF ULYSSES, Monteverdi (1567–1643)
Opens: 24 March 2011 (8 performances)
Conductor Jonathan Cohen Director Benedict Andrews; Set Designer Borkur Jonsson;
Cast includes: Tom Randle (Ulysses); Pamela Helen Stephen (Penelope)
A co-production with the Young Vic for the fourth year, directed by the rising star director Benedict Andrews from Berlin’s Schaubühne Theatre. Monteverdi's late opera tells how the wandering Ulysses returns home after his long journey back from the Trojan Wars to find his faithful queen and his kingdom besieged by villainous usurpers, and a test of constancy follows (picture left of Benedict Andrews' production of War of the Roses for Sydney Theatre).

Summer 2011

Terry_Gilliam_imaginariumNew Production: THE DAMNATION OF FAUST, Berlioz (1803-1869)
Opens: 6 May 2011 (10 performances)
Conductor Edward Gardner; Director Terry Gilliam
Cast includes: Christine Rice (Marguerite); Christopher Purves (Mephistopheles)
A co-production with De Vlaamse Opera, Antwerp. This opera is a large-scale company work, showcasing the ENO Chorus and Orchestra, led by ENO Music Director Edward Gardner. Making his operatic debut, the fantastical filmmaker Terry Gilliam (picture right from his film The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus) collaborates with the great German set designer Hildegard Bechler and costume designer Katrina Lindsay.

Christopher_Alden_c_Catherine_AshmoreNew Production: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, Britten (1913–1976)
Opens: 19 May 2011 (10 performances)
Conductor Leo Hussain; Director Christopher Alden
Cast Includes: Iestyn Davies (Oberon); Willard White (Bottom); Sarah Tynan (Tytania)
Christopher Alden’s most recent ENO production, Partenope, won an Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production (picture left by Catherine Ashmore). Leo Hussain, who conducted performances of Punch and Judy and Aida for ENO, returns to the Company for A Midsummer Night’s Dream after great success as the new Chief Conductor of the Salzburg Landestheater.

Tcherniakov_c_Willfried_HslNew Production: SIMON BOCCANEGRA
, Verdi (1813–1901)
Opens: 8 June 2011 (10 performances)
Conductor Edward Gardner; Director and Set Designer Dmitri Tcherniakov
Cast includes: Bruno Caproni (Simon Boccanegra); Brindley Sherratt (Jacopo Fiesco); Roland
Wood (Paolo Albiani)
A co-production with Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich. Dmitri Tcherniakov, who makes his ENO debut, came  to prominence as an opera director and designer at the Mariinsky and Bolshoi theatres in Russia (picture right, Tcherniakov's Khovanshchina at Bavarian State Opera.

nico_muhlyWorld Premiere: NICO MUHLY NEW COMMISSION, Nico Muhly (b. 1981)
Opens: 24 June 2011 (7 performances)
Conductor To be announced; Director Bartlett Sher
Cast: To be announced
A Metropolitan Opera/ Lincoln Center Theater commission, the opera is a fictionalised story based on a true story in which a teenager attempts to arrange his own murder via the internet. The new production, directed by Bartlett Sher, will be presented during the Metropolitan Opera’s 2013–14 season. Nico Muhly (picture left) has worked extensively with Philip Glass as editor, keyboard player and conductor. His work includes orchestral pieces premiered by the American Symphony, Chicago Symphony and the Juilliard and Boston University Tanglewood Institute Orchestras, the film scores for Choking Man and The Reader and collaborations with Bjørk and Antony of Antony and the Johnsons.

English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, London WC2N 4ES - booking line for all performances
Chief executive: Loretta Tomasi
Artistic director: John Berry
Musical director: Edward Gardner

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