Friday, 10 May 2013

Opera North new season

Opera North open its 2013/14 season with a trilogy of operas celebrating Britten's centenary, with revivals of Peter Grimes and A Midsummer Nights Dream alongside the company's first ever Death in Venice. In the Winter 2014 season there is a revival of Verdi's Macbeth plus a new production of Puccini's La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West). Then in the Spring 2014 season they complete their Ring with performances of Gotterdammerung with Puccini's La Boheme as the unlikely partner in the season.

Phyllida Lloyd's 2006 production of Peter Grimes return with Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts in the title role, Giselle Allen as Ellen Orford and Robert Hayward as Captain Bulstrode, conducted by Jac van Steen, the Dutch conductor who has been principal guest conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales since 2005.

Martin Duncan's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream dates from 2008 and returns with two fine young counter-tenors sharing the title role, James Laing and Christopher Ainslie, plus Jeni Bern as Titania and Henry Waddington and Darren Jeffrey sharing the role of Bottom. Stuart Stratford makes a welcome return to Opera North as conductor; he will also be at Opera Holland Park this year conducting Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci.

Alan Oke will sing the role of Aschenbach in Death in Venice with Opera North music director Richard Farnes conducting. The production, by Yoshi Oida, is from Aldeburgh where it garnered very strong reviews. Peter Savidge is singing the baritone roles. The productions will tour to Leeds, Salford, Nottingham and Newcastle, with Death in Venice also going to Aldeburgh.

Tim Albery's 2008 production of Verdi's Macbeth returns with a cast which includes Kelly Cae Hogan as Lady Macbeth and will be conducted by the Swedish violinist and conductor Tobias Ringborg. Then the new production of Puccini's La Fanciulla del West will start Alwyn Mellor as Minnie and be directed by Aletta Collins (who directed Dido and Aeneas and La Voix Humaine for Opera North last year). Robert Hayward is Jack Rance, Rafael Rojas is Dick Johnson and Richard Farnes conducts. Both productions are being performed only in Leeds.

In the Spring, Peter Mumford directs the concert staging of Wagner's Gotterdammerung with a very strong cast which includes Alwyn Mellor returning as Brunnhilde, Daniel Brenna as Siegfried, Mats Almgren as Hagen, conducted by Richard Farnes. The revival of Phyllida Lloyd's 1993 production of La Boheme will be double cast but no further details are available as yet. Both productions are being performed in Leeds and Salford.

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