Apart from finding the money to increase its output of new shows, the best omen in English National Opera’s new season is a strategy to take the company out of the West End – and out of London altogether.
The idea is to divide the year into autumn and spring seasons at the London Coliseum, with a summer tour of venues around London and out into the rest of the country.
In Summer 2017, this company will present shows at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, the Hackney Empire and the Southbank Centre.
Blackpool breaches a long-standing Arts Council ban on ENO playing outside London. t’s a shrewd place to stage Mikado for the summer crowds and it fills a notable gap in an area the ACE has neglected for decades. ENO needs to get out more if it is to be a truly national company once again.
That’s the crumb of good news. Much of the rest is camouflage. Playing an oratorio the South Bank won’t change much, and most of the next season is – contrary to first perceptions – revivals. This is going to be a tread-water season while an inexperienced artistic director settles in and starts the search for a music director.
The new shows – just four of them – are:
Mozart – DON GIOVANNI
(Co-pro with Theater Basel) Sep 30, Oct 4, 7, 13, 15, 18, 21, 24, 26 at 19.00 & Oct 9 at 15.00
Director: Richard Jones, Conductor: Mark Wigglesworth, Set Designer: Paul Steinberg, Costume Designer: Nicky Gillibrand, Lighting Designer: Mimi Jordan Sherin, Movement Director: Sarah Fahie, Translator: Amanda Holden
Cast includes: Christopher Purves (Don Giovanni), Clive Bayley (Leporello), Caitlyn Lynch (Donna Anna), Allan Clayton (Don Ottavio), Christine Rice (Donna Elvira), James Creswell (Commendatore), Mary Bevan (Zerlina), Nicholas Crawley (Masetto)
Alban Berg – LULU
(In the Cerha completion. Co-pro with the Met and Dutch National Opera)
Nov 9, 14, 17 at 19.00 & Nov 12, 19 at 18.00
Director: William Kentridge, Co-Director: Luc De Wit, Conductor: Mark Wigglesworth, Designer: Sabine Theunissen, Costume Designer: Greta Goiris, Lighting Designer: Urs Schönebaum, Video Designer: Catherine Meyburgh, Video Operator: Kim Gunning, Translator: Richard Stokes
Cast includes: Brenda Rae (Lulu), Sarah Connolly (Countess Geschwitz), Michael Colvin (Painter), James Morris (Dr Schön/Jack the Ripper), Nicky Spence (Alwa), Willard White (Schigolch), David Soar (Animal Tamer/Athlete), Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts (Prince/Manservant/Marquis), Clare Presland (Schoolboy/Dresser/Waiter), Graeme Danby (Theatre Director/Bank Director), Sarah Labiner (15 Year Old Girl), Rebecca de Pont Davies (Her Mother), Sarah Champion (Female Artist), Geoffrey Dolton (Journalist)
Ryan Wigglesworth – THE WINTER’S TALE
Libretto: Ryan Wigglesworth after William Shakespeare
Opens 27 February 2017 for 5 performances
Feb 27, Mar 3, 8, 10, 14 at 19.30
Director: Rory Kinnear, Conductor: Ryan Wigglesworth, Set Designer: Vicki Mortimer
Cast includes: Iain Paterson (Leontes), Sophie Bevan (Hermione), Samantha Price (Perdita), Leigh Melrose (Polixenes), Anthony Gregory (Florizel), Susan Bickley (Paulina), Neal Davies (Antigonus/Shepherd), Timothy Robinson (Camillo)
Daniel Schnyder – CHARLIE PARKER’S YARDBIRD
Libretto: Bridgette A. Wimberly
Opens June 2017 at Hackney Empire Performance dates TBC
Director: Ron Daniels, Conductor: tbc, Set Designer: Riccardo Hernandez, Costume Designer: Emily Rebholz, Lighting Designer: Scott Zielinski
CAST INCLUDES: Lawrence Brownlee (Charlie Parker)
Commissioned by Opera Philadelphia. European Premiere presented in collaboration between Hackney Empire and ENO