Your Essential Guide to the ENO 2015-2016 Season
The English National Opera's new season will soon be open for booking. We select the highlights.
In his first season as music chief, Mark Wigglesworth has summoned up an international range of directors, several of them known for their radical reinterpretations of the repertoire. So we have Christopher Alden’s Norma, making its London debut after an acclaimed 2012 run at Opera North, and Calixto Bieito’s Spanish Civil War update of The Force of Destiny. Philip Glass specialist Phelim McDermott will take on Akhnaten, while Benedict Andrews (A Streetcar Named Desire, Young Vic) crafts a contemporary take on La boheme. Perhaps most excitingly of all, Russia’s Dmitri Tcherniakov (Simon Boccanegra) will open the season with Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, a chilling domestic tale.
This is our guide to the best of the London Coliseum’s upcoming events. General booking opens on Wednesday 27th May.
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (26 Sept 2015 – 20 Oct 2015)
The ENO programme opens with Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Stalin was not a fan, but since its premiere it has become regarded as a modernist masterpiece. Dmitri Tcherniakov (Parsifal, Don Giovanni), one of the most exciting figures in opera today, directs.
The Mikado (21 Nov 2015 – 6 Feb 2016)
Jonathan Miller’s Mikado is the most successful ENO Gilbert and Sullivan production of all time, almost thirty years old. Its revival promises delightful tunes and choreographed camp, following on the heel’s of last season’s Mike Leigh-directed Pirates of Penzance.
The Force of Destiny (9 Nov 2015 – 4 Dec 2015)
Maverick director Calixto Bieito (Carmen) helms a new production of Verdi’s Force of Destiny. Overture to finale, it is a propulsive, action-filled delight, which Bieito has set in the Spanish Civil War.
The Magic Flute (5 Feb 2016 – 19 Mar 2016)
Another chance to see Simon McBurney’s Magic Flute, starring British soprano Lucy Crowe and tenor Allan Clayton. McBurney has a surreal touch, so expect some mind-befuddling images.
Norma (17 Feb 2016 – 11 Mar 2016)
Christopher Alden's Norma in its 2012 Opera North production.
Director Christopher Alden (Rigoletto) returns to the London Coliseum with Norma, Bellini’s bel canto masterpiece. The famous ‘Casta Diva’ aria is just the tip of the iceberg in this tragic tale of passion.
Akhnaten (4 Mar 2016 – 18 Mar 2016)
Take a trip to Akhnaten’s Ancient Egypt, where cities are toppled and religions are built. Philip Glass’ opera – a masterpiece of minimalist music – will play in London for the first time in three decades. Rising star Anthony Roth Contanzo, Operalia Grand Prize winner, stars.
Tristan and Isolde (9 Jun 2016 – 9 Jul 2016)
Edward Gardner, the ENO’s former music director, returns to the baton
This may well be the season’s blockbuster: a new production of Wagner’s incomparable masterpiece, directed by Daniel Kramer (Bluebeard’s Castle) and designed by sculptor Anish Kapoor RA.
Jenufa (23 Jun 2016 – 8 Jul 2016)
The production’s devastating last revival at the ENO drew praise
Even when they tell tales of farmers and peasants, Italian opera seems to exist in a melodramatic zone. Not so with Janacek’s Czech masterpiece. Jenufa, which only appears for six dates, is opera at its most powerfully real.