Inspired by the film 1962 film El Angel Exterminador by the famed surrealist Luis Buñuel, the opera is a chilling dystopic allegory about the bourgeois condition: guests are trapped at a elegant party thrown after a night at the opera. But this glamorous social occasion quickly descends into something deadlier.
The party theme mirrors the confined settings of Adès’s two previous operas, Powder Her Face (1995) and The Tempest (2004). “It’s territory that I like very much,” explains Adès, "because it looks as though the people are in a room, but it’s not really about the room; they’re actually trapped in their own heads."
Adès and his co-librettist Tom Cairns, who also directs this British premiere, retain many of Buñuel’s characters, prompting an extraordinary line-up of singers. The huge cast of soloists, many of them British, and which reads like a Who’s Who in Opera today, includes Anne Sofie von Otter, Christine Rice, John Tomlinson, Thomas Allen, Iestyn Davies, Ed Lyon, Sally Matthews, Sophie Bevan and James Cleverton.
The world premiere at the 2016 Salzburg Festival was highly praised and critics were bowled over by the scale and inventiveness of the piece, and by its rich musical fabric: Adès references Wagner, Ravel, Stravinsky, ancient musical forms and modern dissonance.
Adès himself conducts the opera, which is sung in English, with English surtitles. An impressive example of co-operation between major international opera house, it is a co-production with Salzburg Festival, the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and the Royal Danish Opera.
Booking for the general public opens at 9am on 24 Jan 2017. Click here for more details and for links to priority booking schemes.
|What||The Exterminating Angel, Royal Opera House|
Royal Opera House
Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
24 Apr 17 – 08 May 17, six performances; 7pm start 6 May
|Price||£6 - £120|
|Website||Click here to book via Culture Whisper and See Tickets|