The writer Gustav von Aschenbach is depressed and suffering from writer’s block in Munich, in 1911. A mysterious traveller persuades him to go south to Venice to refresh his imagination.
At his hotel on the Venice Lido, Aschenbach is struck by the beauty of a Polish boy, Tadzio, who is holidaying with his family. Over the ensuing days he watches him on the beach, and secretly follows him through the streets of Venice. Even when rumours of a plague in Venice reach Aschenbach, and a series of unsettling incidents unnerve him, his obsession with Tadzio keeps him in the city that poses danger.
Mark Padmore sings Aschenbach at the Royal Opera House. Photo: Marco Borggreve
In the opera first staged in 1973, and not staged at Covent Garden since 1992, the large cast is headed by three principals. The tenor Mark Padmore sings Aschenbach, with counter-tenor Tim Mead as the voice of Apollo. Baritone Gerald Finley plays many other characters, each of whose presence is full of foreboding.
The dependable director David McVicar is joined by designer Vicki Mortimer for this new production, which continues the Royal Opera House's cycle of Britten operas, following on from the excellent and agonising Billy Budd.
Destined to be one of the landmarks of the 2019/20 Covent Garden season, very early booking is recommended.
Death in Venice is sung in English with English surtitles. General booking opens at 9AM, Wed 7 Aug
|What||Death in Venice, Royal Opera House|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
21 Nov 19 – 06 Dec 19, five performances
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|