Born in Ohio, Kramer has worked in Italy, Russia and Hong Kong, and extensively in London, not only in opera but on straight plays and musical theatre, at Southwark Playhouse, in the West End, and at the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, where he was associate artistic director. Productions there included
Hair. He has also worked with the RSC and Young Vic.
His first opera was Harrison Birtwistle's Punch and Judy, for ENO, for whom he also directed Bluebeard's Castle, and last year he directed ENO's Tristan and Isolde, designed by Anish Kapoor. In dance, he was worked at Sadler's Wells.
So all eyes are on his treatment of Verdi's classic story of dissipation, love and duty,
La Traviata. It's anybody's guess where in the world or in time he envisages this many-layered story unfolding, but in unveiling its 2017/18 season, ENO promised something 'sweepingly romantic' set in an 'ephemeral, image-conscious world'. Could the society hostess Violetta be taking selfies, we wonder?
Selfies? Claudia Boyle sings the society hostess Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata for ENO. Photo: Frances Marshall
In that role is soprano Claudia Boyle, who made a big impression at ENO as Mabel in the first performances of Mike Leigh's production of The Pirates of Penzance. The soprano goes from strength to strength, and has in Violetta the dream role, sashaying between frivolity, love and self-sacrifice, giving up her lover Alfredo for the sake of the family name.
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2017 competitor, the South African tenor Lukhanyo Moyake, sings Alfredo, with ENO favourite Alan Opie as his demanding father, Père Germont.
Fresh from the award-winning Yerma and the National Theatre's office-turned-forest in As You Like It, Lizzie Clachlan is the designer, and the conductors are Leo McFall and Toby Purser.
With its starry team and glamorous scenes, there is much to look forward to here...
La Traviata is sung in English, with English surtitles. Booking is open now. Click here for more information and tickets
|What||La Traviata, English National Opera, Coliseum|
English National Opera
London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES | MAP
|Nearest tube||Embankment (underground)|
16 Mar 18 – 08 Apr 18, eight performances, plus 31 March (6:30PM) and 8 April (3PM)
|Price||£12 - £125|
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|