Saturday 17 July 2010

ETO Autumn season

Having just put their recent Spring tour to bed, English Touring Opera have released full details of their exciting Autumn season. The most keenly anticipated item is the world premiere of Alexander Goehr's new opera (reputedly to be his last). Based on a text extracted from Shakespeare's King Lear by Sir Frank Kermode, Promised End sets 24 fragments of Shakespeare. Hearing Goehr's response to Shakespeare's tragedy is an excitement to come. ETO are performing the opera with a strong cast including Nigel Robson (Gloucester), Roderick Earle (Lear) and Lina Markeby (Cordelia/Fool), and the Aurora Orchestra conducted by Ryan Wrigglesworth, production by James Conway. The tour starts at the Royal Opera's Linbury Theatre on 9th October and continues to Malvern, Bexhill, Exeter, Crawley, Cambridge and Snape Maltings.

English Touring Opera – Goehr: Promised End – world premiere, operatic version of Shakespeare’s King Lear (edited by Frank Kermode). Ryan Wigglesworth (conductor), James Conway (director), Roderick Earle (Lear), Nigel Robson (Gloucester), Adrian Dwyer (Edgar), Lina Markeby (Cordelia), Julia Sporsen (Regan).

Keeping to the drama theme, the other main work in the tour is The Duenna, Sheridan's comic opera which was first produced with music by Thomas Linley (senior and junior). ETO are using newly discovered manuscripts to re-create the original 1775 version of this highly popular work, first premiered at Covent Garden. Many of the songs were taken from popular ballads of the day and though the music was commissioned from Thomas Linley senior, much of it was actually written by his prodigy son (who died at the age of 22). The performance will be directed by Michael Barker-Caven with Joseph McHardy conducting a period instrument orchestra. The cast is an admirably mixture of experienced hands such as Nuala Willis and Richard Suart, with younger singers like Damien Thantrey and Jonathan Gunthorpe.

Sheridan's text was re-used for operas by Prokofiev and Roberto Gerhard, but this will be a rare outing for the English original. The show previews in Poole before moving to Covent Garden on 13th October with subsequent visits to Bath, Malvern, Bexhill, Exeter, Cambridge, Harrogate and Snape.

English Touring Opera – Sheridan/Linley The Duenna – Directed by Michael Barker-Caven, conducted from the harpsichord by Joseph McHardy, and designed by Adam Wiltshire; Richard Suart (Don Jerome); Olivia Safe (Clara); Charlotte Page (Louisa); Nuala Willis (Margaret); Joe Shovelton (Antonio); Damien Thantry (Ferdinand); Adrian Thompson (Isaac)

Further ahead, they have released preliminary details of their spring 2011 tour, with Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito, Puccini's Il Tabarro and Gianni Schicchi, along with Tobias Picker's The Fantastic Mr Fox

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