Jacques Imbrailo, Leigh Melrose & Matthew Best star in Pelléas et Mélisande at Opera Vlaanderen
Jacques Imbrailo, Leigh Melrose and Matthew Best travel to Flanders this month to star as Pelléas, Golaud and Arkel in Opera Vlaanderen's new production of Pelléas et Mélisande, which opens on 2 February 2018. The production is directed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet and is conducted by Alejo Pérez.
Imbrailo takes the role of Pelléas, which he has sung to great acclaim around the world, most recently in a performance of "touching delicacy and entirely skilful empathy" (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) for Opernhaus Zürich. He returns to the role twice this season: for three performances in Hong Kong with Welsh National Opera and in concert with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. He also sings the title role of Britten Billy Budd at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma.
Melrose made his highly anticipated role debut as Golaud earlier this season at the Ruhrtriennale Festival and also performs the role later this season at Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. Further highlights in the 2017/18 season include a return to Teatro Real with two appearances: as Cecil in Britten Gloriana in a new production by Sir David McVicar and Stolzius in Zimmermann Die Soldaten, a new production by Calixto Bieito. Further ahead he makes role debuts at Teatro alla Scala and Wiener Staatsoper as well as returning for new productions at Dutch National Opera and Opernhaus Zürich.
Best revisits the role of Arkel alongside Imbrailo later in the season with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. His Arkel follows a run of performances in English National Opera's production of Aida at the Colisseum.
Matthew Best returns to English National Opera as The King in Aida
Matthew Best opens his new season with a return to English National Opera as The King in Aida from 28 September 2017. Best joins a cast that also features Latonia Moore in the title role, Gwyn Hughes Jones as Radames, Michelle de Young as Amneris, Musa Ngqungwana as Amonasro and Brindley Sherratt as Ramfis. Aida is a new production directed by Phelim McDermott and conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson.
Other highlights of Best’s 2017/18 season include Arkel in Pelléas et Mélisande at Opera Vlaanderen and with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
Aida opens at the London Coliseum on September 28, 2017, and performances run until 2 December.
Susan Bickley, Matthew Best & Anthony Gregory in world premiere of Anderson’s Thebans
Susan Bickley, Matthew Best and Anthony Gregory perform the roles of Jocasta, Tiresias and Haemon respectively in the world premiere of Julian Anderson’s Thebans for English National Opera on 3 May. Conducted by Edward Gardner and directed by Pierre Audi, this new opera re-tells Sophocles’ timeless Theban tragedies, focusing on the fate of Oedipus and his daughter Antigone. Bickley, Best and Gregory will perform alongside Roland Wood in the title role, Peter Hoare as Creon and Julia Sporsén as Antigone.
Susan Bickley returns to ENO for a second time this season, following her critically acclaimed turn as Eduige in Richard Jones’ new production of Rodelinda. Following Thebans, Bickley ends this season with Waltraute in Opera North’s new production of Götterdämmerung, the final instalment of their four year Ring Cycle. Highlights next season include a reprisal of Virgie in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Herodias Salome for Dallas Opera, Messagiera Orfeo for the ROH at the Roundhouse and a return to ENO for another world premiere.
Following his successful performances of Swallow in the revival of David Alden’s Peter Grimes at ENO, Matthew Best returns to house for the final time this season in Thebans. Best will then go to Buxton Opera Festival where he will sing the Count in Dvořák’s The Jacobin, before reprising the role of Commendatore in Don Giovanni with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Highlights next season include Best’s return to Scottish Opera.
Thebans is the last of three new productions in Anthony Gregory’s busy 2013/14 season as an ENO Harewood Artist. Earlier in the season he performed Second Armed Man and covered Tamino in Simon McBurney’s innovative new production of The Magic Flute, and Borsa in Christopher Alden’s Rigoletto alongside Quinn Kelsey, Barry Banks and Anna Christy. Later in the season, at the invitation of Rollando Villazon, he returns to the Verbier Festival in the role of Agenore in Mozart’s Il Re Pastore. He then performs Tamino for NI Opera; Prologue and Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw for Glyndebourne on Tour; and Shepherd L’Orfeo in his Royal Opera House debut at the Roundhouse Theatre.
Intermusica singers lead cast of David Alden's Peter Grimes at English National Opera
Following its five-star sell-out success in 2009 and at the BBC Proms in 2012, David Alden’s acclaimed production of Britten’s Peter Grimes returns to English National Opera on 29 January 2014. Conducted by Edward Gardner, Peter Grimes boasts much of its original cast including seven Intermusica singers, many of whom are seasoned interpreters of their respective roles. The staging will also be the first ENO production to be screened cinemas worldwide, beginning with a live stream on 23 February.
Iain Paterson’s debut as Captain Balstrode at the BBC Proms in 2012 was described as “sensationally sung” (Guardian) and he returns to this same role, and production, at the Coliseum this January. Captain Balstrode is a role Paterson has also sung to great success at the Wiener Staatsoper, where he made his house debut earlier this season under the baton of Graeme Jenkins. Later this season, Paterson returns to the role of Wotan in his first staged production of Wagner’s Die Walküre for Houston Grand Opera, following on from his highly acclaimed first Wotan in Das Rheingold at the Proms 2013 under Daniel Barenboim.
Rebecca De Pont Davies once again sings the role of Auntie in Alden’s production, a role she has previously sung at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opera Ovideo and Vlaamse Opera to great critical acclaim, with the Daily Telegraph’s Rupert Christianson commenting that she “almost steals the show with her electrifyingly sinister Auntie". De Pont Davies will go on to sing this role again for Grange Park Opera later this season, while also returning to the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, for Jack’s Mother in Sondheim’s Into the Woods.
Dame Felicity Palmer returns to one of her signatures roles as Mrs Sedley, and one she has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, with Donald Runnicles and most recently at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome, under the baton of Antonio Pappano. She was also part of the cast at ENO in 2009 and at the BBC Proms 2012, where her performance was described by the Guardian as, “the most terrifying Mrs Sedley imaginable.”
Matthew Best sings the role of Swallow, a role he has sung to in recent years at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Opera Oviedo, ENO, at the BBC Proms and at Santa Cecilia. This revival at ENO follows his house debut at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as the Grand Inquisitor in Verdi’s Don Carlos.
Michael Colvin sings the role Bob Boles, of which he another regular performer, including most recently for the critically acclaimed concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski at the Royal Festival Hall, London, and Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Colvin continues the 2013/14 season as Joaquino Fidelio with Le Cercle de l’Harmonie under Intermusica conductor Jérémie Rhorer.
Leigh Melrose returns to the role of apothecary Ned Keene, his interpretation of which was described as “fittingly dark and sinister” by Opera Today following his performance at the BBC Proms 2012. An authority on the performance of twentieth-century vocal repertoire, as well as several acclaimed performances of contemporary repertoire this season Melrose also sang the title role in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in November 2013 as part of the Britten centenary celebrations.
Current ENO Harewood artist Mary Bevan sings the role of Second Niece. This follows her ENO performances of Papagena The Magic Flute in November, and as Despina Così fan tutte opening in May.
Stuart Skelton takes the title role of Peter Grimes while Elza van den Heever sings the role of Ellen Orford. After opening on 29 January, further performances take place on 1, 6, 8, 14, 21 23 and 27 February.
Intermusica singers lead Peter Grimes cast at Santa Cecilia with Sir Antonio Pappano
Gregory Kunde makes his debut in the title role of Britten’s Peter Grimes for three concert performances with the Orchestra and Choir of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. The performances are at Rome’s Sala Santa Cecilia in the Auditorium Parco della Musica, the city’s state-of-the-art music complex, on 26, 28 and 30 October.
In a departure from the Italian repertoire in which he is particularly renowned, Kunde leads a cast that includes five Intermusica singers, as part of the celebrations for the Britten centenary. Kunde’s debut as Grimes is one of several major Italian engagements this season, which include Enee Les Troyens at La Scala, Milan, and Vasco da Gama L'Africaine at La Fenice, Venice.
Dame Felicity Palmer returns to one of her signatures roles as Mrs Sedley; a role she has performed at the Metropolitan Opera New York with Donald Runnicles, at English National Opera in the acclaimed production by David Alden and most recently at the BBC Proms in August 2012, conducted by Edward Gardner. Dame Felicity’s superb characterisation of this role led the Guardian to describe her performance as, “the most terrifying Mrs Sedley imaginable.” Following this performance, Dame Felicity sings Mrs Sedley in the revival of Alden’s production that returns to the Coliseum in January 2014.
Matthew Best once again performs the role of Swallow, a role he has sung to great acclaim in recent years at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Opera Oviedo and ENO, He joins Dame Felicity in ENO’s revival of Alden’s production of Grimes in January. Prior to that, December sees his house debut at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as the Grand Inquisitor in Verdi’s Don Carlos.
Michael Colvin sings the role of Bob Boles, following on from recent performances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski at the Royal Festival Hall, London, and Symphony Hall, Birmingham.
The concert will be Susan Bickley's debut with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia as well as a role debut, as she sings the part of Auntie for the first time. Her other highlights this season have included: a universally acclaimed Virgie, in the US premiere of Turnage’s Anna Nicole; the role of Storge for a recording of Handel’s Jephtha with The Sixteen under Harry Christophers, which will also be performed in concert at the Barbican; Eduige Rodelinda in a new production by Richard Jones for ENO; and the world premiere of a new piece by Julian Anderson, also for ENO.
Susan Bickley and Matthew Best star in new Lohengrin at Welsh National Opera
Mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley and bass Matthew Best both star in a new production of Wagner’s Lohengrin for Welsh National Opera, which opens on 23 May at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff.
Bickley sings the role of Ortrud and Best the role of Heinrich in the production by director Antony McDonald, which is set in the 1840s. WNO Music Director Lothar Koenigs conducts the performances which also star Emma Bell as Elsa and Peter Wedd in the title role. There are further performances on 26, 29 May and 1, 8 June at the Millennium Centre and performances on 13 and 15 June at the Birmingham Hippodrome.
Following Lohengrin, Bickley has a busy few months ahead with engagements including Witch Hänsel & Gretel for Garsington Opera, Virgie Anna Nicole for New York City Opera, Auntie Peter Grimes with Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Sir Antonio Pappano, Mother Hänsel & Gretel for Opéra de Toulouse, and Eduige Rodelinda and Jocasta The Thebans (a new work by Julian Anderson) for ENO.
Best performs the role of Swallow Peter Grimes with Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and for ENO in a revival of David Alden’s acclaimed Peter Grimes, followed by The Thebans for ENO in the spring.
Matthew Best takes on the role of King Heinrich in Wagner’s opera Lohengrin at the Royal Swedish Opera
Matthew Best takes on the role of King Heinrich in Wagner’s opera Lohengrin at the Royal Swedish Opera, with 6 performances between 7th and 20th April. The production is conducted by Alan Gilbert, and directed by Stephen Langridge.