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Wednesday 1 May 2013

ENO 2013-14 Season

A quick round up of the new ENO season. Generally there's lots of nice things - Fidelio, two new Mozart productions, a Handel, a Berlioz, an operetta, a world premier and Peter Grimes with Stuart Skelton. Yes.

Fidelio (opens 25th Sep)
I enjoyed Calixto Bieito Carmen when it came to ENO this season, and am pleased that this Fidelio is coming too - it's meant to be an interesting and thoughtful production that raises questions about the piece. Emma Bell as Leonore, StuartSkelton as Florestan, conducted by Edward Gardner

Die Fledermaus (opens 30th Sep)
Christopher Alden's production with Eun Sun Kim conducting. Tom Randle is Eisenstein and Julia Sporsén as Rosalinde. I was just the other day lamenting the lack of operetta in London, so this is most welcome.

Madame Butterfly (Opens 15th Oct)
Anthony Minghella’s production is one I still haven't scene. I guess I should since it's meant to be so visually arresting, but after my recent Puccini experience with Tosca at the ROH, I'm not sure I can face it.

Die Zauberflote (Opens 7th Nov)
New production by Simon McBurney to replace Hytner's that I was underwhelmed by this season. Tamino is played by Ben Johnson, Devon Guthrie is Pamina, Roland Wood is Papageno and Mary Bevan is Papagena. Gergley Madaras conducts.

Satyagraha (Opens 20th Nov)
Glass' opera directed by Phelim McDermott with Stuart Stratford conducting, and Alan Oke as Ghandi. I'm wary of Glass' music in general, but have never seen one of his operas actually in the theatre, so will likely try to go.

Peter Grimes (Opens 29th Jan)
A revival of David Alden’s Peter Grimes with the superb Stuart Skelton as Grimes, with Elza van den Heever making her debut as Ellen Orford. I predict that this will be the highlight of the ENO season. Can not wait.

Rigoletto (Opens 13th Feb)
Graeme Jenkins conducts a new production by Christopher Alden. Quinn Kelsey takes the title role with Barry Banks as the Duke and Anna Christy taking role of Gilda. Not my favourite Verdi. We'll see how the reviews are.

Rodelinda (Opens 4th Mar)
A new Richard Jones production of this gorgeous Handel score. Rebecca Evans in the title role opposite Iestyn Davies as her husband Bertarido. Conducted by Christian Curnyn. Good news all round.

Powder Her Face
(Opens 2nd Apr)
This score earlyish score by Ades is extremly impressive, but I've found the meanness and coldness of the piece alienating in the past. Maybe Joe Hill Gibbins can make it more engaging? Apparently it's "site specific". The mind boggles.

Thebans (Opens 3rd May)
A world premiere by composer Julian Anderson’s with a libretto by Frank McGuinness with conductor Edward Gardner, directed by Pierre Audi. New work is always very welcome, but Audi's Castor and Pollux was one of the worst things I've ever seen. I live eternally in hope though. Singers include Roland Wood, Julia Sporsén, Peter Hoare, Anthony Gregory, Matthew Best and Jonathan McGovern

Cosi fan Tutte (Opens 16 May)
New production. Good. Kate Valentine and Christine Rice as the sisters. GOOD. Katie Mitchell directs conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth.

Benvenuto Cellini (Opens 5th June)
A new Terry Gilliam production of Berlioz’s early opera, conducted by Edward Gardner. Stars Michael Spyres as Cellini, Corinne Winters (the recent ENO Violetta), Nicky Spence and Willard White. Like much of Berlioz, the piece is uneven in inspiration, but contains some wonderful, wonderful music. I didn't much like Gilliam's last Berlioz production at ENO, but it'll probably be interesting at least.

The Pearl Fishers (Opens 16th June)
I haven't yet seen Penny Woolcock’s production of this famously difficult to stage piece, but I love Bizet so will definitely be going. Featuring Sophie Bevan and George van Bergan.

River of Fundament (Opens 29th June)
By Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler River of Fundament will be "screened at the Coliseum", "a film/opera project, presented worldwide on behalf of the artist by @MIFestival". Hmm. More details needed.

Here's the ENO's full detailed listing.

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