London awaits return of naked opera

London awaits return of naked opera


norman lebrecht

February 02, 2016

Holland Park’s new season witnesses a revival of Mascagni’s Iris, an opera whose heroine dreams she is being encircled naked by an octopus. It’s the pivotal scene; without it, nothing else makes sense.

Iris was brought back to London by OHP in 1977 after a lifetime’s absence; if you missed it then, here’s your second chance.

Full season and casts were announced today:

Investec Opera Holland Park 2016; 7 June – 13 August

Iris by Pietro Mascagni;  June 7, 10, 14, 16, 18

La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini June 11, 13, 15, 17, 19 (matinee 2pm), 23, 24 (Young Artists performance), 25.

La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini; Co-production with Danish National Opera. July 14, 16, 20, 22, 27, 30.

Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II; July 19, 21, 23 and 28 and August 3, 5.

The Queen of Spades by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; August 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13.




Iris Anne Sophie Duprels; Il Cieco Mikhail Svetlov; Osaka Noah Stewart; Kyoto James Cleverton; Geisha Johane Ansell; Haberdasher Timothy Langston; Rag Merchant Michael Bradley; Conductor Stuart Stratford; Director Olivia Fuchs


La bohème Mimi Anna Patalong; Rodolfo Shaun Dixon; Musetta Elin Pritchard; Schaunard Frederick Long; Colline John Savournin; Benoit John Lofthouse; Alcindoro James Harrison; Parpignol Michael Bradley; Conductor Matthew Waldren; Director Stephen Barlow


La Cenerentola; Angelina Victoria Simmonds; Prince Ramiro Nico Darmanin; Dandini Nicholas Lester; Don Magnifico Jonathan Veira; Alidoro Barnaby Rea; Clorinda Fleur de Bray; Tisbe Heather Lowe; Conductor Dane Lam; Director Oliver Platt.

Die Fledermaus Gabriel von Eisenstein Ben Johnson; Rosalinde Susanna Hurrell; Adele Jennifer France; Alfred Peter Davoren; Dr Blind Robert Burt; Frank John Lofthouse; Prince Orlofsky Samantha Price; Conductor John Rigby; Director Martin Lloyd-Evans

The Queen of Spades Hermann Peter Wedd; Lisa Natalya Romaniw; Countess Rosalind Plowright OBE; Count Tomsky and Zlatogor Richard Burkhard; Prince Yeletsky Grant Doyle; Polina and Milovzor Laura Woods; Masha and Prilepa Daisy Brown Surin and Boy Commander Simon Wilding; Chekalinsky Aled Hall; Narumov Henry Grant Kerswell; Master of Ceremonies Timothy Langston; Governess Laura Zigmantaite; Conductor Peter Robinson; Director Rodula Gaitanou



  • Michael Volpe says:

    Thanks Norman
    (It was 1997 btw, and we revived it immediately after in 1998, such was its success)
    I will be giving a lecture on this most subversive of operas on March 22nd at Leighton House. We will be publishing details of that soon.

  • Michael Volpe says:

    Sorry, that will be March 29th!!

  • Howard Wong says:

    Wonderful to see the names of so many singers who have been nurtured over the years by OHP. Holland Park’s service to the London operatic scene is truly invaluable.

  • D. Howley says:

    Will they use those gorgeous costumes by Charles and Patricia Lester?

  • Michael Volpe says:

    D Howley

    No, this is a new production so those fab costumes aren’t in this one.