|English National Opera (ENO) will perform Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Britten’s Paul Bunyan for the first time as part of its outside work series. ENO Studio Live forms part of ENO Outside which takes ENO’s work to arts-engaged audiences that may not have considered opera before, presenting the immense power of opera in more intimate studio and theatre environments.
Acis and Galatea (June 2018) will be directed by Sarah Tipple and performed at ENO’s historic rehearsal studios, Lilian Baylis House. ENO Studio Live launched in May 2017 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. The initiative showcases emerging talent from the UK opera and theatre worlds as well as championing ENO’s own in-house talent and young directors. Paul Bunyan (September 2018) will be directed by Jamie Manton and will be ENO’s first collaboration with Wilton’s Music Hall.
The choice of these two productions celebrates the integral role that both Handel and Britten have played in the company’s history. For decades ENO has developed its reputation as ‘the house of Handel’ (The Sunday Telegraph) and, since its production of Semele in 1970, the company has performed 12 different operas by the composer. In 1945 Sadler’s Wells Opera (which became ENO in 1974) gave the world premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, and Britten’s music has been at the heart of the company ever since. In 2018, the year which marks fifty years of opera in residence at the London Coliseum, ENO will perform four works by Benjamin Britten: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Turn of the Screw, Paul Bunyan and War Requiem.
ENO’s Artistic Director, Daniel Kramer, commented:
‘It was truly inspiring to see our whole company pull together earlier this year to create the two productions that launched our ENO Studio Live series. We are so proud of the exceptional talent that we have at ENO, and I delighted that these next two productions will enable us to continue to celebrate young directors and designers while supporting some of the UK’s most exciting emerging singers.
‘Following the tremendous critical and audience response to Jamie Manton’s production of The Day After this summer I am particularly proud that Jamie is returning to work with the company and with our award-winning chorus on Paul Bunyan at Wilton’s Music Hall.
‘The music of Handel and Britten has played a vital role in ENO’s history, and constitutes part of the very DNA of our company. I am looking forward to the company’s first performances of these two works in the inspiring hands of two such impressive up-and-coming directors. Opera has the unique power to move and inspire people in a way that almost nothing else can, and it is very exciting to have the chance to share this with our existing and new audiences not only through our productions at the London Coliseum, but also in these intense and intimate settings.’