The company will stage two productions at Hackney Empire, a perfect fit for the scale and style of its work, as well as Bach's St Matthew Passion at Temple Church (18 Oct).
Two performances of Handel's splendid Radamisto bookend the week's residency at Hackney (6 and 13 Oct). This ornate tale of an Armenian ruler and his wife Zenobia who are tested to the limit stars the counter-tenor William Towers in the title role with soprano Katie Bray as Zenobia. The cast also includes baritone Grant Doyle, who was so impressive in The Skating Rink at Garsington Opera this summer.
'Not only is Radamisto rich in music and dramatic invention,' says ETO general director and director of Radamisto, James Conway, 'but it fields a group of flawed, fascinating characters who are tested beyond endurance, who learn the harshest truths about themselves, who don't necessarily improve – but who surprise, charm, seduce, repel and endure.'
Handel has an extraordinary capacity for articulating in music the feelings that are as vivid and relevant today as when this opera was first staged in the old King's Theatre, London, in 1720.
Soprano Sky Ingram sings the role of Dido in 'Dido and Aeneas'
During its residency ETO also stages a triple bill (12 Oct) which opens with Purcell's tragic one-act opera Dido and Aeneas.
Every note counts in this jewel of English music. Sky Ingram sings the role of the Carthaginian queen Dido, who is desolate at the departure of her lover Aeneas (Nicholas Mogg). With its famous witches' chorus, rollicking sailors' shanty and heartbreaking Dido's Lament, the opera is a favourite with performers and audiences alike.
Dido is performed with Carissimi's opera lush one-acter about Jonah and the whale, Jonas. The evening concludes with I Will Not Speak, a selection of Gesualdo madrigals teeming with passion and sumptuous harmonies and staged in atmospheric candlelight.
'Radamisto' is sung in Italian with English surtitles; 'Dido and Aeneas' is sung in English, 'Jonas' in Latin, and 'I Will Not Speak' in Italian, all with English surtitles. Book two operas and get 20 per cent off.
|What||English Touring Opera, Hackney Empire|
|Where||Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London, E8 1EJ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Hackney Central (overground)|
06 Oct 18 – 13 Oct 18, three performances
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|