The writers have steered clear of the sickly sweet sentimentality so often associated with stage versions of Peter Pan, instead focusing on the story’s sense of fun, danger and anarchy: a perfect mix for director Keith Warner, whose preceding productions at the Royal Opera House (Wagner’s Wozzeck in 2002, and then his mammoth Ring Cycle in 2005) landed him with a reputation for being ambitious and flamboyant. Some critics found his Wagner cluttered and over-the-top, but this could bode well for Peter Pan - a more innocent but equally fantastical tale.
British composer Richard Ayres discovered a knack for writing classical music for children with his first family opera The Cricket Recovers in 2005. Ayres said he relished the challenge to delve into his own childhood and "find a musical language that not only suits a world full of children, but also one that describes a bizarre, slightly disturbing and dreamlike world."
Lavinia Greenlaw has produced four collections of poetry and a retelling of Troilus and Criseyde, all heralded for matching precision with evasive hidden meanings. She has produced libretti for two chamber operas and song cycles, but Peter Pan marks her full-scale debu
Young counter-tenor Iestyn Morris takes the lead. As a child, Morris dazzled with the ENO in The Turn of the Screw, and went on to study the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Alongside opera, he regularly sings with choral groups, including the King’s Consort and the Choir of Westminster Abbey. Swedish soprano Marie Arnet, who won plaudits in 2013 as the star of the WNO’s astonishing Lulu, takes the part of Wendy, while in-demand baritoine Ashley Holland plays the paired roles of Mr. Darling and Captain Hook. Keith Warner directs, known for his radical stagings of Wozzeck and Das Ring des Nibelungen with the Royal Opera.
Despite its small size, Wales – with its culture of choirs and traditional music – boasts one of the finest vocal traditions in Europe. The Welsh National Opera, founded in 1943, is based in Cardiff but regularly tours England. Regarded for their focus on lesser-known works by the great composers, over the years they have nurtured the likes of Dame Margaret Price, Robert Tear and Bryn Terfel.
Suitable for children (and adults!) aged 8 and over, Peter Pan will be performed for two evenings only; be sure to book quickly when tickets are released to the general public on March 31st.
|What||Peter Pan, Royal Opera House|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
24 Jul 15 – 25 Jul 15, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Royal Opera House’s website|