ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA ANNOUNCES 2017/18 SEASON

ENO’s 2017/18 season features four new productions and five revivals at the London Coliseum, supported by a number of projects in other venues

  • Daniel Kramer directs his first opera as ENO Artistic Director, a new production of La traviata starring Claudia Boylein her role debut as Violetta
  • Martyn Brabbins begins his first full season as ENO Music Director, conducting performances of Marnie and The Marriage of Figaro
  • ENO presents the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s latest opera, Marnie, directed by Michael Mayer and conducted by Martyn Brabbins
  • A new production of Verdi’s Aida opens the 17/18 season, conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson. After sell-out performances of his Olivier Award-winning Akhnaten, Phelim McDermott returns to direct
  • Cal McCrystal directs a new production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, starring ENO Harewood Artist Samantha Price in the title role alongside ENO favourites Andrew Shore and Yvonne Howard
  • Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and ENO present a new production of The Turn of the Screw, directed by multiple Olivier Award-winner and Artistic Director of the Open Air Theatre, Timothy Sheader. ENO Mackerras Fellow Toby Purser conducts
  • Revivals of audience favourites include Jonathan Miller’s The Barber of Seville, Richard Jones’s Rodelinda, Phelim McDermott’s Satyagraha, Robert Carsen’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Fiona Shaw’s The Marriage of Figaro
  • A raft of exciting British conductors new to ENO includes Leo McFall, Alexander Soddy and Hilary Griffiths. Keri-Lynn Wilson and Karen Kamensek return after acclaimed debuts in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons respectively
  • Over 93% of cast and conductors in the 2017/18 season are British born, trained or resident. Rodelinda, Iolantheand Satyagraha all feature casts that are entirely British born, trained or resident
  • More than 15 principal roles across the 17/18 season will be taken by current or former ENO Harewood Artists.
  • Over 39,500 tickets are available for £20 or less across the 17/18 season (500 for every performance)

Today (27 April 2017) ENO has announced its 2017/18 season, comprising four new productions and five revivals at the London Coliseum alongside performances at other venues during the summer. In the 2017/18 season ENO will present nine fully-staged productions at the London Coliseum (following eight in the 2016/17 season). This will increase to 10 fully-staged productions at the London Coliseum by 2019/20.

Official Opening of The Stoller Hall: Manchester’s Newest Performance Space at Chetham’s School of Music

This weekend (Friday 21 – Sunday 23 April) The Earl of Wessex, Patron, Chetham’s School of Music, opens The Stoller Hall: Manchester’s newest performance space at Chetham’s School of Music. It offers a flexible, professional venue which is the ideal place for recitals, chamber concerts, jazz, folk, pop and spoken word events as well as recordings and conferences. The city of Manchester is a vibrant hub of culture with a plethora of music venues catering to a variety of genres: The Stoller Hall adds to this by filling the gap for a dedicated chamber music space, combining the intimacy of a small venue with impressive visual and acoustic design.

Situated in the New Building, which opened in 2012, a void was deliberately left in this new part of the school for a planned for concert hall, with the assumption that years of fundraising still lay ahead before that could become reality. The total cost of The Stoller Hall is £8.7m, and £7.5m of its overall cost has been generously donated by Sir Norman Stollerthrough the Stoller Charitable Trust: Chetham’s are delighted that this means the doors are opening just five years after the original conception, with additional support from the Garfield Weston Foundation. The remainder of the funds have been raised through various arms of the Encore Campaign: from donating a Round of Applause or the Name a Seat scheme to establishing a Wall Plaque or exploring Naming Opportunities.

The concert hall provides:

  • State-of-the-art 482-seat auditorium
  • Flexible acoustics, designed by industry experts Arup, for different types of performance
  • An extendable concert stage
  • High quality, brand new PA and lighting with in-house technical support
  • In-house Steinway D grand piano
  • Two large dressing rooms & two Green rooms with en-suite facilities
  • An intimate yet impressive setting providing a unique audience experience in the heart of Manchester

ENO and Grange Park Opera announce partnership

English National Opera (ENO) and Grange Park Opera (GPO) have today announced the formation of a three-year partnership, beginning in June 2018. Each year ENO’s award-winning Orchestra will play for productions presented by Grange Park Opera at West Horsley Place. West Horsley Place, the first opera house to be built in the UK in the 21st century, is the new home of Grange Park Opera and will open on 8 June 2017.

Described as ‘the finest opera orchestra in the country’ (The Stage), the ENO Orchestra is at the heart of the company’s artistic life. The repertoire that they perform is extremely diverse, ranging from baroque opera to world premieres. Their performances are regularly broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and have been screened live to cinemas worldwide as part of ENO Screen. In 2016 the ENO Orchestra and ENO Chorus were joint winners of the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera.

BBC Proms 2017

122 years since it was founded and 90 years since the BBC took over the running, financing and broadcasting of the world’s largest classical music festival, the BBC Proms today announces its 2017 season. Presenting over eight weeks of events and more than 90 concerts the festival continues its founder-conductor Henry Wood’s aim of bringing the best classical music to the widest audience.

The festival marks major composer anniversaries in 2017, including Monteverdi at 450, Handel’s Water Music at 300 and John Williams at 85.  The birthdays of two pioneers of American Minimalism are also celebrated – John Adams’ 70th birthday is marked throughout the festival including the First and Last nights, and Philip Glass’ 80th birthday is celebrated with the first complete live performance of Passages, the 1990 studio album he created with Ravi Shankar, performed by the Britten Sinfonia, conducted by Karen Kamensek with sitar soloist Anoushka Shankar. 

Following its launch last year, the ‘Proms at…’ series returns, matching music to five different venues and for the first time in recent history travels outside of London to Stage@TheDock in Hull, the UK’s 2017 City of Culture, for a concert inspired by the 300thanniversary of the first performance of Handel’s Water Music. As well as eight Proms Chamber Music concerts at Cadogan Hall, the series presents choral music at Southwark Cathedral, music theatre at Wilton’s Music Hall, new and experimental music at the Tanks at Tate Modern, and returns to Bold Tendencies Multi-Storey Car Park in Peckham for a wide-reaching programme featuring The Multi-Story Orchestra and Youth Choir

The Proms explores the ways in which politics has inspired and influenced composers across the ages through two big historical anniversaries in 2017 – one hundred years since the Russian Revolution, featuring the music of Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Rachmaninov, and the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which is marked with a special day of concerts curated by Bach specialist John Butt.

Engaging new audiences remains a vital part of the BBC Proms mission as the festival opens its doors through special initiativesincluding the first ever Relaxed Prom. Presented in collaboration with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) and the Royal Albert Hall Education & Outreach team, the concert offers an informal environment for people with autism, sensory and communication impairments and learning disabilities as well as individuals who are Deaf, hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted. The Prom, which follows BBC NOW’s first ever Relaxed concert in Cardiff on 2 July, is led by conductor Grant Llewellyn and musician Andy Pidcock. Other concerts designed especially to present classical music to new audiences include Gerard McBurney’s Beyond the Score, which combines actors, projections and live musical examples who explore the history of Dvo?ák’s ‘New World’ Symphony, and Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ Symphony, deconstructed live on stage by Tom Service and conductor Nicholas Collon, before a performance from memory by the Aurora Orchestra. A series of weekend matinees also offer engaging concerts that present the perfect introduction to classical music at a time of day that is convenient for those who may not be able to attend evening events.

As always the Proms presents a wide range of the very best music, with jazz and soul music a focus in the 2017 season. The festival marks 100 years since the births of Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie with a concert starring vocalist Dianne Reeves and trumpeterJames Morrison.  The music of jazz giant Charles Mingus is celebrated by conductor Jules Buckley and his Metropole Orkest, BBC Radio 2 presenter Clare Teal returns with bandleaders Guy Barker and Winston Rollins for a concert celebrating big band legends including Duke Ellington, and Jools Holland & His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra pay tribute to the legendary Stax/Volt Revue, credited for its championing of Southern and Memphis soul music.

The refreshed Proms websitebbc.co.uk/proms – reflects the entire festival offering. The ‘Proms Unplucked’ Podcast, presented by comedian and composer Vicki Stone, offers a unique backstage view of the whole festival.

Tickets are available via bbc.co.uk/proms or 0845 401 5040 and in person at the Royal Albert Hall as follows:

  • General booking opens at 9.00am on Saturday 13 May
  • Season and Weekend Promming Passes are available to purchase from 9.00am on Thursday 11 May.
  • Proms Chamber Music Series Passes are available to purchase from 9.00am on Thursday 11 May.
  • Tickets for the Ten Pieces Presents…Proms (Proms 11 and 12) are available to purchase from 9.00am on Friday 12 May.
  • Tickets for the Relaxed Prom (Prom 19), including a limited number of Promming tickets, are available to purchase from 9.00am on Friday 12 May.

SCREENINGS ON BEACHES, RIVER BANKS AND PARKS

Following Garsington Opera for All’s successful second year of free public screenings on beaches, river banks and parks in isolated coastal and rural communities, Handel’s sparkling masterpiece Semele will be screened in four areas across the UK in 2017. Free events are programmed for Skegness (1 July),  Ramsgate (22 July), Bridgwater (29 July) and Grimsby (11 October).  In each location a large-scale programme of education and outreach work is firmly integrated with the free public screenings and will provide ground-breaking opportunities for communities to be involved in creating, learning about, and performing opera.  Semele will also have a free public screening as part of Oxford Festival of the Arts (1 July) and  Garsington Opera’s 2016 production of Tchaikovsky’sEugene Onegin will be screened this year at the Buckingham Film Place community cinema (17 June).

Opera for All is a programme which challenges expectation by uncovering the ingredients and foundation of opera – drama, music, story-telling and expressive emotion.  In 2016 Opera for All worked with 25 schools, reached 1,000 young people, working directly with artists in residencies, and provided skills development for 50 teachers. Over 2,500 people attended the opera screenings. For the students in each location, the experience of working alongside a team of professional artists to create and perform their own pieces in response to the opera was transformative.  For many it was their first experience of live professional singing and evaluation of the project has shown significant positive impact on confidence and social cohesion

Opera for All is a three-year partnership project between Garsington Opera, the charitable trust Magna Vitae, and the Coastal Communities Alliance, and is supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund.  As a result of this partnership an online network – the Coastal Culture Network – has been formed.

Semele a love story in which the god Jupiter (performed by British tenor Robert Murray) is captivated by the beauty of the all-too-human Semele (sung by  Heidi Stober making her UK debut).  It features some of Handel’s most exquisitely beautiful music, with soaring choruses and splendid orchestral writing.

SCREENING DATES FOR SEMELE   

SKEGNESS        Saturday 1 July                                SO Festival

OXFORD            Saturday 1 July                              Oxford Festival of the Arts

RAMSGATE       Saturday 22 July                              Ramsgate Festival

BRIDGWATER   Saturday 29 July                            Bridgwater Quayside Festival,

GRIMSBY           Wednesday 11 October                 Grimsby Auditorium

 

SCREENING DATE FOR EUGENE ONEGIN

BUCKINGHAM   Saturday 17 June                           The Film Place

 

GARSINGTON OPERA SHORTLISTED FOR RPS MUSIC AWARD

Garsington Opera is delighted to announce that it has been shortlisted for a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, in the category of Opera and Music Theatre, for their 2016 production of Idomeneo, director Tim Albery, designer Hannah Clark.  The cast included Toby Spence, Caitlin Hulcup, Louise Alder, Rebecca von Lipinski, Timothy Robinson, Robert Murray and Nicholas Masters and was conducted by Tobias Ringborg.  The lighting designer was Malcolm Rippeth and movement director Tim Claydon.

RPS Music Award winners will be announced on Tuesday 9 May.   The annual RPS Music Awards, presented in association with BBC Radio 3, are the highest recognition for live classical music in the UK.  Awards, in thirteen categories, are decided by independent panels consisting of some of the music industry’s most distinguished practitioners. The awards honour musicians, composers, writers, broadcasters and inspirational arts organisations. The list of previous winners reads like aWho’s Who of classical music. This year’s RPS Music Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in 2016

Garsington Opera has established an enviable reputation for producing opera of the highest professional quality performed in a setting of extraordinary beauty.   A programme of well-known operas with discoveries of lesser-known works is presented over two months each summer and the very best performers from around the world are engaged and rising stars from within Britain are showcased.

This year’s festival that runs from 1 June – 30 July presents Handel’s seductive masterpiece Semele, Debussy’s enigmatic Pelléas et Mélisande, Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Rossini’s Il turco in Italia and will conclude with Silver Birch, a large-scale work for a professional cast with local community participants of all ages, commissioned by Garsington Opera from leading British composer Roxanna Panufnik and librettist Jessica Duchen.

Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra

Martin Roscoe is quite simply one of the most admired and respected pianists of his generation.  Equally at home in concerto, recital and chamber performances he describes himself as a musical all-rounder, or more specifically as “a musician who plays the piano, rather than a pianist”. It is an interesting, typically self-effacing definition suggesting that his performances aim to serve the music and the composer’s intentions rather than imposing his own personality on either. On Sunday, as the guest of the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, he will turn his flawless technique and musicianship to Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, a work held together by a pervading sense of joy that surges through the work from beginning to end, belying the alarming deterioration in the composer’s physical and mental health during the period of its composition. It was a work that was to influence both Grieg and Rachmaninov in the creation of their concerti for piano and orchestra.

Conductor Laureate Barry Wordsworth makes a welcome appearance on Sunday to bring the Philharmonic’s current season to a close with a performance of Alexander Scriabin’s Second Symphony. The heart of this glorious work is a sumptuously-coloured slow movement, while the finale achieves the universal appeal the composer aimed for with a triumphant march. The concert begins with Kodály’s Dances of Galánta, an orchestral evocation of the small Hungarian market town’s long established gypsy band, full of exciting rhythm and brilliantly colourful orchestration.

There is much to look forward to then in this, the final concert of the Brighton Philharmonic’s 92nd season. The Orchestra has maintained its high performance standards throughout with a wonderfully diverse programme of music. I look forward with eager anticipation to its 93rd season.

Peter Back

ENO Studio Live

ENO showcases emerging talent with UK premiere of Jonathan Dove’s The Day After and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury

ENO is pleased to announce ENO Studio Live, a new initiative which offers audiences the opportunity to experience the power of our forces and a team of world-class soloists in an intimate studio environment.

ENO Studio Live will showcase the company’s exceptional emerging and in-house talent, from members of ENO’s award winning Chorus and Orchestra to our Staff Directors, Harewood Artists and Music Staff.

The initiative will launch with the UK premiere of Jonathan Dove’s The Day After, performed for the first time in a new choral version, and performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury.

These performances will welcome audiences to ENO’s historic rehearsal studios, Lilian Baylis House, in West Hampstead. Formerly the site of the West Hampstead Town Hall, and named after ENO’s founder, Lilian Baylis House was once the Decca Recording Studios and hosted many classical recording sessions alongside albums by Fleetwood Mac and David Bowie.

Speaking about the initiative, ENO’s Artistic Director Daniel Kramer commented: “We strive to present world-class opera at ENO. This is made possible by the brilliant work of my exceptionally talented colleagues – many of whom are emerging artists in their own right.

“My own opera career was launched at the Young Vic in 2008 when ENO took a risk and gave me the chamber opera, Punch and Judy. It is a priority for me, therefore, to ensure we develop our emerging artists by providing platforms and opportunities for them to experiment and develop their own craft.

“I am delighted to launch ENO Studio Live – an opportunity for us to provide more opportunities for rising talent within the British opera scene. Audiences will have the rare opportunity to hear an impressive array of soloists alongside members of our award-winning Chorus and Orchestra performing in an intimate studio setting. It will be a wonderful chance to experience the power of our forces up close.”

Tickets for ENO Studio Live are £25.00, with a buy-both discount of 20% (so both for £40) available online and from the box office

Disabled and student concessions are available from the box office at £12.50

The Day After: UK Premiere
Jonathan Dove
April de Angelis

26, 27, 30, 31 May at 7.30pm

Trial by Jury
Arthur Sullivan
W.S. Gilbert

3, 6 June at 7.00pm, 5 June at 7.00pm and 8.30pm

Performances will take place at Lilian Baylis House, West Hampstead

Marius de Vries to work with ENO as Creative Consultant 

Multi award-winning music producer and composer Marius de Vries will be working with English National Opera (ENO) as Creative Consultant, with immediate effect.

Liaising closely with ENO Artistic Director Daniel Kramer, de Vries will advise on future projects for staging at the London Coliseum. Drawing on his exceptional knowledge of the music, theatre and film industries, he will contribute to a series of daring projects combining and colliding opera with popular music and electronic music as well as other genres to bring ENO’s work to an audience that may never have considered engaging with opera before.

Marius de Vries has been involved in some of the most culture-defining recordings and soundtracks of the past three decades. He has written, arranged and produced across a wide range of styles and genres for artists such as Madonna, Bjork, David Bowie, David Gray, Massive Attack, Chrissie Hynde and Annie Lennox. In the film and theatre world, his work includes music direction, score composition and song productions for Baz Luhrmann, George Lucas, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Matthew Vaughn, Zack Snyder and Daniel Kramer. De Vries was the Music Director for Baz Lurhmann’s Moulin Rouge! (2001) and also worked with Nellee Hooper on the soundtrack for Lurhmann’s Romeo and Juliet. He has won two BAFTA awards, an Ivor Novello Award, and four Grammy nominations for soundtrack and record production. Most recently De Vries was the Music Director and Music Producer for La La Land, which won both Music awards – song and score – at this year’s Oscars.

Speaking about his appointment, Marius de Vries said: ‘I am thrilled to be reconnecting my creative relationship with the inspirational and visionary Daniel Kramer, honoured to be welcomed into the ENO family, and beyond excited to be helping to develop and nurture new projects and collaborations informed by the ENO’s long tradition of adventure and innovation, at the same time reaching out to whole new audiences.’

Artistic Director Daniel Kramer said: ‘Alongside ENO’s more traditional productions, it is vital that we continue to push the boundaries of opera and explore the different routes that this most wonderful art form may take in the future. I’m delighted to be working with Marius again on a series of projects that will collide opera with music of many different genres. He brings with him an exceptional level of expertise across the music, film and broadcast industries, and I look forward to sharing the fruits of this collaboration with you in due course.’

Marius will be providing his consultancy services to ENO on a pro bono basis.

Sally Burgess joins ENO Board

Today, 28 February 2017, English National Opera (ENO) is pleased to announce that Sally Burgess is joining the ENO Board of Trustees with immediate effect.

Highly acclaimed mezzo soprano Sally Burgess began her long and renowned relationship with ENO in 1978 as Zerlina (Don Giovanni). She has since returned to perform over 40 roles with the company, the most notable being Carmen, Octavian (Rosenkavalier) and Judith (Bluebeard’s Castle). Her distinguished career includes performances at most of the world’s major opera houses, including The Metropolitan Opera, New York; Bayerisches Staatsoper, Munich; Opera National de Bastille, Paris; The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; and Houston Grand Opera. On the concert platform she has collaborated with many eminent conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Sir Charles Mackerras and Daniel Barenboim. Sally is Vocal Professor at the Royal College of Music and Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She is an internationally sought after teacher of voice and stagecraft and leads masterclasses, workshops, competitions and regularly directs opera scenes across Europe, Russia and South Africa. In 2011 she was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Music (FRCM).

Commenting on the appointment, ENO Chair, Dr Harry Brunjes says, ‘I am delighted that Sally Burgess has kindly accepted our invitation to join the board. As a company we will all benefit enormously from Sally’s expertise and experience. It will be a privilege to work alongside a singer and a performer with such a deserved reputation in the opera world.’

ENO Artistic Director Daniel Kramer commented, ‘I am thrilled to welcome Sally back to ENO, and certain that she will be a huge asset to our Board. She brings with her a deep understanding of the company, its history and its values to support the artistic team with long-term strategy and planning.’

ENO’s Chief Executive, Cressida Pollock said, ‘We are all looking forward to working with Sally, and to the numerous ways in which her significant creative expertise and experience, alongside her passion for the company, will strengthen ENO’s Board.’

Sally Burgess commented: ‘I am delighted to join the Board of English National Opera, and I look forward to contributing insights gained from my experience as both a performer and a vocal specialist. ENO is a company I have performed over 40 roles with, and so I know first-hand how wonderful it is to work alongside their award winning Orchestra and Chorus as well as their exceptional production and technical teams.’