@E_N_O

Peter Grimes at the English National Opera.

English National Opera – Britten’s Peter Grimes – with Gwyn Hughes Jones, Elizabeth Llewellyn & Simon Bailey; directed by David Alden; conducted by Martyn Brabbins

This second revival of David Alden’s production of Peter Grimes for English National Opera (first seen in 2009) comes perhaps unfortunately soon after Deborah Warner’s trenchant new one for the Royal Opera House which was seen in 2022 (such was the latter’s impact that it made this Britten sceptic appreciate the power of this overlong opera). […]

English National Opera – Britten’s Peter Grimes – with Gwyn Hughes Jones, Elizabeth Llewellyn & Simon Bailey; directed by David Alden; conducted by Martyn Brabbins Read More »

Photo: Zoe Martin

English National Opera – Jeanine Tesori’s Blue [UK premiere] – with Kenneth Kellogg, Nadine Benjamin & Zwakele Tshabalala; directed by Tinuke Craig; conducted by Matthew Kofi Waldren

Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s opera Blue was commissioned in 2015 by the Glimmerglass Festival and premiered there in 2019. Although the Black Lives Matter movement had already been in existence for several years by 2019, the opera’s theme of discrimination and police brutality against the African-American community has become all the more urgent – at least

English National Opera – Jeanine Tesori’s Blue [UK premiere] – with Kenneth Kellogg, Nadine Benjamin & Zwakele Tshabalala; directed by Tinuke Craig; conducted by Matthew Kofi Waldren Read More »

Photo: Helen Murray www.helenmurrayphotos.com

English National Opera – Korngold’s The Dead City – Rolf Romei, Allison Oakes, Sarah Connolly; directed by Annilese Miskimmon; conducted by Kirill Karabits

When it was premiered in 1920, Korngold’s The Dead City (Die tote Stadt) must have struck its first audiences as a daring and raw confrontation of the theme of grief, so soon after the end of World War One. Moreover, Paul’s psychologically unhealthy obsession with his deceased wife Marie’s remaining effects (such as her braid of hair,

English National Opera – Korngold’s The Dead City – Rolf Romei, Allison Oakes, Sarah Connolly; directed by Annilese Miskimmon; conducted by Kirill Karabits Read More »

Photo: Helen Murray www.helenmurrayphotos.com

English National Opera – Korngold’s Die tote Stadt/The Dead City

Long condemned for its reliance on a regressive, played-out seam of romanticism, Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s first full-length opera and biggest 1920s’ hit would appear to have confounded the sceptics and returned to the operatic mainstream. Successful stagings in several European houses demonstrate the range of possibilities inherent in material which, while very much of its

English National Opera – Korngold’s Die tote Stadt/The Dead City Read More »

Photo: Marc Brenner

English National Opera – Wagner – The Rhinegold – John Relyea, Leigh Melrose & Frederick Ballentine; directed by Richard Jones; conducted by Martyn Brabbins

Richard Jones’s Ring for English National Opera began last year, for no apparent reason with the cycle’s second instalment, The Valkyrie, and with its intended circle of fire at its climax infamously thwarted because of safety regulations, proving rather prophetic of a production that rather failed to catch fire or cast much light on that work. The presentation

English National Opera – Wagner – The Rhinegold – John Relyea, Leigh Melrose & Frederick Ballentine; directed by Richard Jones; conducted by Martyn Brabbins Read More »

Photo: Tristram Kenton

English National Opera – Bizet’s Carmen – Ginger Costa-Jackson, Sean Panikkar & Carri-Ann Williams; directed by Calixto Bieito; conducted by Kerem Hasan

Having now been seen in various place around Europe, and receiving its third revival at English National Opera, Calixto Bieito’s production of Carmen still conveys the opera’s visceral, raw passions afresh without resort to glamourising its violence or stereotyping its Andalusian spirit. Rather, it is only the somewhat prissily banal English translation by Christopher Cowell

English National Opera – Bizet’s Carmen – Ginger Costa-Jackson, Sean Panikkar & Carri-Ann Williams; directed by Calixto Bieito; conducted by Kerem Hasan Read More »

Photo: English National Opera

English National Opera – Britten’s Gloriana, with Christine Rice and Robert Murray, conducted by Martyn Brabbins, in a concert staging by Ruth Knight

What a strange and, serendipitously, oddly timed event this was. For one night only, a special performance from the currently beleaguered English National Opera of Britten’s Gloriana, a tribute to the late monarch, who died 419 years after the death of her Tudor namesake. It was billed as a concert staging but was much more

English National Opera – Britten’s Gloriana, with Christine Rice and Robert Murray, conducted by Martyn Brabbins, in a concert staging by Ruth Knight Read More »

Photo: English National Opera

English National Opera – Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life – Danielle de Niese, Frederick Ballentine & Michael Mayes; directed by Aletta Collins; conducted by Nicole Paiement

Jake Heggie has recently been gaining more attention in the UK, having achieved success in his native America for the wide range of his compositions. Dead Man Walking was seen at the Barbican in a semi-staged performance a few years ago, and other works have been mounted in London. But this is the first performance of his

English National Opera – Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life – Danielle de Niese, Frederick Ballentine & Michael Mayes; directed by Aletta Collins; conducted by Nicole Paiement Read More »

Photo: ENO 2022

English National Opera – Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Yeomen of the Guard – Anthony Gregory, Heather Lowe, John Molloy & Alexandra Oomens; directed by Jo Davies; conducted by Chris Hopkins

Regarded by G&S enthusiasts as one of the more ingenious and well-crafted Savoy operas, The Yeomen of the Guard has perhaps been shunned somewhat by others on account of its dark plot and gallows humour, such that it is not one of the more often performed. This is the second professional production this year, however, following that

English National Opera – Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Yeomen of the Guard – Anthony Gregory, Heather Lowe, John Molloy & Alexandra Oomens; directed by Jo Davies; conducted by Chris Hopkins Read More »

Photo: Genevieve Girling

English National Opera – Christof Loy’s production of Puccini’s Tosca – Sinéad Campbell-Wallace, Adam Smith, Noel Bouley, conducted by Leo Hussain

English National Opera launched its new season with grand opera grandly staged, with singers who thrived in the Coliseum. Christof Loy’s staging – this was Loy’s ENO debut – was first seen in Helsinki in 2018, The designer Christian Schmidt has presented a generalised and impressive Roman baroque interior of a church in Act One

English National Opera – Christof Loy’s production of Puccini’s Tosca – Sinéad Campbell-Wallace, Adam Smith, Noel Bouley, conducted by Leo Hussain Read More »

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