Monday, 24 September 2018

New theatre, new season - Royal Opera House's Linbury Theatre re-opens

The Royal Opera House's redesigned Linbury Theatre © Hufton + Crow, 2018.jpg
The Royal Opera House's redesigned Linbury Theatre © Hufton + Crow, 2018
Quite how the Royal Opera House's Open Up project will work in practise, only time will tell as we test the changes in earnest but the re-vamped Linbury Theatre has quite a striking programme of events announced for its first season. Things kick off in January 2019.

The first opera to be presented at the new Linbury is a new one, Gavin Higgins' The Monstrous Child, based on Francesca Simon's novel, and the latest in a series of contemporary operas aimed at younger audiences being commissioned by the Royal Opera. Directed by Timothy Sheader (artistic director of Regents Park Open Air Theatre and director of English National Opera's recent performances of Britten's Turn of the Screw in Regent's Park) the piece features Marta Fontanals-Simmons [see my interview with Marta] in the title role, Tom Randle, Dan Shelvey, Lucy Schaufer, Elizabeth Karani and Graeme Broadbent with conductor Jessica Cottis.

We move over 250 years earlier with the first performance of Handel's Berenice at Covent Garden since 1737 as a collaboration with the London Handel Festival. Sung in a new English translation by Selma Dimitrijevic, directed by Adele Thomas and conducted by Laurence Cummings, the performances feature Rachael Lloyd, James Laing, William Berger and Jette Parker Young Artists Jacquelyn Stucker and Patrick Terry.

For the annual Jette Parker Young Artists performance, Henze’s final opera, his reworking of Greek myth, Phaedra, is being performed in a new production by Jette Parker Young Artist director Noa Naamat with Southbank Sinfonia, conducted by Edmund Whitehead.

Other opera performances include South African lyric theatre company Isango Ensemble, Belgian director Ivo van Hove and Muziektheater Transparant. The dance programme includes the National Dance Company of Wales, Alessandra Ferri, the Royal Ballet in a programme of new dance to new music including a new core by David Sawer, Ben Duke’s company Lost Dog, Yorke Dance Project, Canadian company Cas Public.

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