Monday 14 August 2017

New opera: Philadelphia/Hackney co-production based on Peter Ackroyd's novel

Peter Ackroyd's novel The Trial of Elizabeth Cree: A novel of the Limehouse murders has been turned into an opera by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell. The new opera is being premiered in September 2017 by Opera Philadelphia and is a co-commission with the Hackney Empire, and the production is being co-produced by Opera Philadelphia, the Hackney Empire and Chicago Opera Theater. The production is directed by David Schweizer and in Philadelphia features Daniela Mack as Elizabeth Cree, conducted by Corrado Rovaris.

Puts's and Campbell’s new opera is set in London in the 1880s, and interweaves multiple narratives, including the trial of the titular heroine for the poisoning of her husband, and a series of brutal murders committed by a Jack the Ripper-style killer, while depicting London scenes that range from the British Library Reading Room to the high-spirited, working-class music hall. Elizabeth Cree is a mystery that fuses history with imaginative fiction.

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