Intermusica artists star in series of Shakespearean operas this November
Over 200 operas over the years have taken inspiration from Shakespeare's iconic plays, inspiring composers from Purcell and Britten to Rossini and Gounod.
This November, a number of Intermusica singers appear in a range of Shakespeare-based operas, including two different Hamlets on the same day! Read on to find out more.
Macbeth by Verdi (1847)
It is Verdi who most closely followed Shakespeare's original writing, translating the works directly from Italian. Macbeth was extremely well-received at its premiere in 1847, setting precedent for his works that followed.
Last month Craig Colclough jumped in at the Metropolitan Opera to make his house debut in the title role of Macbeth: “[it] will be remembered here as a ‘star is born’ sort of evening for Colclough” (Opera Metro)
> Read a Q&A with Colclough about his role in Macbeth (OperaWire)
This exciting start to the season builds on Colclough's debut in the role in June 2019 at Opera Vlaanderen. This month he returns to the production, opening 8 November in Luxembourg and 21 November in Ghent – click here for more information.
Lear by Aribert Reimann (1978)
On 21 November Gidon Saks (playing the King of France) and Michael Colvin (as Duke of Cornwall) return to Opéra national de Paris in Calixto Bieito's production of Aribert Reimann’s Lear.
The libretto, by Claus H. Henneberg, is based on Shakespeare's King Lear, the tragedy of a King who bestows his power and land to two of his three daughters, culminating in destruction and madness.
The production was first premiered in 1978 at the Bayerische Staatsoper.
Colvin’s 2019/20 season also sees him performing the role of Bob Boles in Peter Grimes at the Enescu Festival and The Witch in Joel Ivany's production of Hansel & Gretel with Canadian Opera Company. Upcoming engagements include a return to Canadian Opera Company and ENO, and an anticipated company debut with Bayerische Staatsoper.
Meanwhile the 2019/20 season sees Saks returning to Teatro La Fenice where he will perform the title role in a new production of Bartòk’s Bluebeard.
Lear runs until 7 December 2019 and is conducted by Fabio Luisi.
Hamlet by Brett Dean (2017)
“New opera doesn’t often get to sound this good” – so commented The Guardian about Brett Dean's Hamlet which has gone on to receive a number of awards since its premiere at Glyndebourne Festival in 2017.
24 November sees the German premiere of Dean’s Hamlet in a new production directed by Brett’s librettist, Matthew Jocelyn, at Cologne Opera.
David Butt Philip attracted major acclaim for his interpretation of the title role on Glyndebourne's UK tour in autumn 2017:
“He sings with uncompromising conviction and blazing intensity. He’s a superb actor, too. We really sense both his affection for Gavan Ring’s Horatio and his horror when he first sees his father’s ghost... It’s an exceptional, career-making achievement" – The Guardian
This month he reprises the role of the ill-fated Prince of Demark to make his company debut with Oper Köln. Performances run until 11 December – click here for more information.
Hamlet by Ambroise Thomas (1868)
Alongside Butt Philip, Jacques Imbrailo also appeared in the 2017 world premiere of Dean’s Hamlet at Glyndebourne, in the role of Horatio, where he was described as “a warm Horatio who also excels” (Bachtrack).
On 24 November, while Butt Philip sings Hamlet in Germany, Imbrailo takes on a rather different interpretation of Shakespeare's classic, performing the title role in French composer Ambroise Thomas’ 1868 opera of the same name with Washington Concert Opera.
A role and house debut for Imbrailo, Washington Concert Opera is known for presenting seldom performed masterpieces of the operatic repertoire in concert form.
Thomas' little-known opera came off the back of so-called 'Ophelia-mania', a craze sparked in 1820s Paris by Irish actress Harriet Smith's unique on-stage interpretation of Ophelia. Smith is best known in classical music history as the woman who inspired Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique.
Hamlet is one of a number of debuts for Imbrailo this season: he also appears for the first time at The Bolshoi Opera and performs Marcello in Barrie Kosky’s production of La Boheme at Komische Oper Berlin.
Watch Imbrailo discuss Thomas' Hamlet below:
Stellar vocal line-up for Romanian premiere of Peter Grimes at Enescu Festival
On 15 September, the Enescu Festival presents the Romanian premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes featuring a stellar Intermusica cast including Lise Davidsen in her role debut as Ellen Orford, Christopher Purves as Balstrode, Michael Colvin as Bob Boles, and Huw Montague Rendall and Rhian Lois, making their debuts as Ned Keene and the Second Niece, respectively.
The concert performance will be combined with a visual story, imagined by multimedia director Carmen Lidia Vidu as a graphic film.
The concert also serves as a vehicle for legendary English mezzo-soprano Diana Montague to sing Mrs Sedley and share the stage for the first time with her son, Huw Montague Rendall, one of the most exciting and fast-rising young baritones of today.
The Enescu Festival is held annually in honour of the celebrated Romanian composer George Enescu. It is the largest classical music festival and competition in Romania and one of the largest in Europe.
Other Intermusica artist appearances at this year's festival include celebrated Romanian mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose alongside Armonia Atenea as Ramise in Handel’s Arminio; Yuja Wang with the Dresden Staatskapelle and Myung-Whun Chung, Midori in recital with Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Renaud Capuçon with Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège and
Gergely Madaras; and the Oslo Philharmonic, Vasily Petrenko and Leif Ove Andsnes, brought to the festival by Intermusica’s International Touring department.
The Grimes performance will be streamed live via the Enescu Festival website.
Martyn Brabbins conducts new production of Salome at English National Opera with Susan Bickley, Michael Colvin & Simon Shibambu
Martyn Brabbins opens English National Opera's season conducting a new production of Richard Strauss Salome on 28 September. The production is directed by the Australian Adena Jacobs and features a cast including Allison Cook (Salome) and David Soar (Jokanaan) and Intermusica artists Michael Colvin (Herod), Susan Bickley (Herodias) and Simon Shibambu (Soldier).
Brabbins next appears at English National Opera in November, conducting a new staged production of Britten War Requiem from ENO Artistic Director Daniel Kramer. Last season at ENO Brabbins conducted the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s Marnie (a co-production with The Met) and, most recently, revived Fiona Shaw's Marriage of Figaro:
"A gratifying success…"
Financial Times, April 2018
Salome is the first of two appearances at ENO for Colvin, who returns later this season in a revival of David Alden’s acclaimed production of Lucia di Lammermoor. He also makes his company debut with Opera di Firenze as Cornwall in Reimann’s Lear, conducted by Fabio Luisi and returns to Salzburg Festival as Laios in Enescu’s Oedipe.
Bickley is a regular guest at English National Opera, recently appearing in Rodelinda and as a "superb" (Guardian) Paulina in the world premiere of Ryan Wigglesworth The Winter's Tale. Other highlights this season include Kabanicha in Janáček Káťa Kabanová in a new production for the Royal Opera House by Richard Jones, the Queen of Sheba in a concert version of Solomon with Christian Curnyn for the Royal Opera House, and Dido in Purcell Dido and Aeneas in Boston with the Handel and Haydn Society.
Shibambu is making his debut at English National Opera in this production. Elsewhere this season he returns to Covent Garden as Pietro in Simon Boccanegra and as Doctor Grenvil in La traviata. He also debuts at Dutch National Opera as Calazán in Micha Hamel’s Caruso in Cuba.
Salome runs at the Coliseum until 23 October.
Michael Colvin makes debut at Opéra de Monte-Carlo as Bob Boles in Peter Grimes
Michael Colvin makes his house debut at Opéra de Monte-Carlo on 20 February 2018, singing Bob Boles in Britten Peter Grimes. The production is directed by José Cura and conducted by Jan Latham-Koenig.
Colvin has previously performed the role of Bob Boles with English National Opera, Opera de Oviedo, Opera Vlaanderen and with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia and Sir Antonio Pappano and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski to critical acclaim:
“I thought Michael Colvin was without doubt the best Bob Boles I have heard and seen…”
Seen and Heard International
This season Colvin returned to Opera Vlaanderen to sing Dr Caius Falstaff and later returns to the Royal Opera House as Bardolfo Falstaff. Further ahead he returns to English National Opera and Paris Opera.
Craig Colclough, Kai Rüütel & Michael Colvin star in Christof Waltz's Falstaff at Opera Vlaanderen
Craig Colclough makes his debut at Opera Vlaanderen on 13 December 2017 singing the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff. Conducted by Tomáš Netopil and directed by Christoph Waltz, the cast for this new production also includes Intermusica's Kai Rüütel as Meg Page and Michael Colvin as Dr Caius alongside Johannes Martin Kränzle as Ford and Julien Behr as Fenton.
Colclough has previously sung this role to great success for Arizona Opera, receiving the following praise from critics:
“Bass-baritone Craig Colclough sang with excellent diction and a skilfully controlled voice all evening. He interpreted his role visually with exquisite comic timing and aurally with a wide range of dynamics and luminous bronzed vocal tones. His was a moving and sympathetic, but broadly drawn, portrayal of the fat knight.”
Opera Today, April 2016
“Colclough is… the undisputed star of the show, mixing expert slapstick with virtuosic renditions of arias about the joys of alcohol, the uselessness of 'honour' and the virile power of his own bulging belly.”
Arizona Republic, April 2016
Falstaff performances take place throughout December in Antwerp, moving to Gent in January with the final performance on 20 January.
Further highlights this season for Colclough include his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Pistola Falstaff, with recent highlights including Scarpia Tosca for English National Opera and the Canadian Opera Company.
Intermusica singers at the 2017 Salzburg Festival
The Salzburg Festival begins on 21 July 2017, and this summer four Intermusica singers perform throughout its duration. Sir Willard White returns to Salzburg to sing the role of Publio in Mozart La clemenza di Tito in Peter Sellars' new production from 27 July. Performing under the baton of Teodor Currentzis, White joins a cast that also features Russell Thomas, Golda Schultz, Christina Gansch, Marianne Crebassa and Jeanine De Bique. The opening night performance will be broadcast live by ORF and by BR.
Also performing at Salzburg this summer are three singers making their debuts at the festival: Michael Colvin, Huw Montague Rendall and Jamez McCorkle. Colvin's debut at the festival is as the Duke of Cornwall in a new production of Reimann's Lear, which opens on 20 August. Colvin returns to the role following performances last season at Opéra de Paris. Next season, he makes debuts at Vlaamse Opera singing Caius Falstaff and at Monte Carlo where he reprises the role of Bob Boles Peter Grimes. He also returns to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to sing Bardolfo Falstaff.
Both Huw Montague Rendall and Jamez McCorkle join Salzburg's prestigious Young Artists Programme and also make their debuts on the main stage. McCorkle sings Fante del Consiglio I due Foscari and covers Tito La clemenza di Tito, while Montague Rendall sings Second Apprentice Wozzeck. In addition to these roles, both artists will appear in the Young Artists Programme Final Concert on 26 August. Next season, both McCorkle and Montague Rendall will be members of the International Opera Studio at Opernhaus Zürich.
Olivier Awards 2017: the Intermusica nominees
Nominees at this year’s Olivier Awards have been announced and several Intermusica names are featured, with Mark Wigglesworth’s work at ENO being recognised with a second consecutive nomination.
Mark Wigglesworth has been nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, a year after ENO won the same award in 2016 for productions including The Force of Destiny and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk conducted by Wigglesworth. This year Wigglesworth is nominated for his conducting of Don Giovanni and Lulu at ENO after outstanding reviews:
"The ENO orchestra was on exhilarating form… under the confident guidance of the conductor, Mark Wigglesworth."
Guardian on Lulu, November 2016
“He has inspired the orchestra and singers to produce one of the most gripping ENO Mozart performances in living memory."
Sunday Times on Don Giovanni, October 2016
Susanna Hurrell was one of the six starring singers in 4.48 Psychosis by Philip Venables, nominated for Best New Opera Production. 4.48 Psychosis was a co-production between the Royal Opera House and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Also nominated for Best New Opera Production is Lulu at English National Opera, with Sir Willard White, Rebecca de Pont Davies and Michael Colvin, conducted by Mark Wigglesworth and directed by William Kentridge.
The Olivier Awards are the highest honour in British theatre, recognising excellence in professional theatre over the last year. Read the full list of nominees on the Olivier Awards website. The winners will be announced in a ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall on 9 April.
Michael Colvin sings Monostatos Magic Flute with the Canadian Opera Company
Michael Colvin returns to Canadian Opera Company from 19 January 2016 to sing Monostatos in Mozart The Magic Flute. Bernard Labadie conducts the Diane Paulus production, which is revived by director Ashlie Corcoran.
Last season received great praise for his performance with Canadian Opera Company, singing Don Basilio in Mozart The Marriage of Figaro:
“This kind of spot-on casting extended all the way down the page. Tenor Michael Colvin was a crooning, cloying figure as Don Basilio…”
Further performances can be heard on 28 and 29 January and 1, 3, 4, 7, 19, 16, 18, 19 and 24 February. Other highlights for Michael Colvin this season include the role of Thomas Scott in Harry Somers Louis Riel with the Canadian Opera Company and later in the season reprising the Duke of Cornwall in Aribert Reimann King Lear at the Salzburg Festival.
Mark Wigglesworth conducts ENO's new Lulu with Sir Willard White, Michael Colvin & Rebecca de Pont Davies
Mark Wigglesworth returns to English National Opera on 9 November 2016 to conduct Berg Lulu in a staging by director William Kentridge. Wigglesworth is joined by fellow Intermusica artists Sir Willard White, Michael Colvin and Rebecca de Pont Davies, who perform alongside Brenda Rae, Sarah Connolly, James Morris and Nicky Spence.
Sir Willard White takes on the role of Schigolch, with Michael Colvin as the Painter and Second Client, and Rebecca de Pont Davis as Girl’s Mother.
Highlights this season for Sir Willard White include Doktor in Wozzeck with the Dutch National Opera and a return to the Salzburg Festival, and for De Pont Davis, highlights include Kabanova in Janáček Káťa Kabanová in Turin and Auntie in Britten Peter Grimes at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos. Later this season Michael Colvin returns to Canadian Opera Company to sing Monostatos Magic Flute and Thomas Scott Louis Riel. In summer 2017 he makes his debut at the Salzburg Festival.
There are further performances of Lulu at the Coliseum on 12, 14, 17 and 19 November.
Gidon Saks and Michael Colvin join Opéra National de Paris for Lear
Gidon Saks joins the Opéra National de Paris this month to sing the King of France alongside Michael Colvin's Duke of Cornwall in Aribert Reimann Lear from 23 May 2016. Calixto Bieito directs this new production under the musical direction of Fabio Luisi.
This is a busy season for Saks, who has just finished a run of performances as Gyges in Zemlinsky Der Konig Kandaules for Opera Vlaanderen, and next month he travels to the United States to appear at Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival.
“The versatile, Israeli bass-baritone Gidon Saks lends his powerful voice to the part of Gyges. His expressiveness and presentation are fascinating.”
Opera Nederland, March 2016
Recent highlights for Colvin include his Royal Opera House debut as Rodolphe Guillaume Tell, Basilio Le nozze di Figaro with Canadian Opera Company and his Dutch National Opera debut as L'Aumônier du Carmel Dialogues des carmélites. Next season Colvin reprises his role as Basilio with Canadian Opera Company and returns later in the year to sing Thomas Scott in their 2017 production of Louis Riel. Further engagements include returns to Royal Opera House and Vlaamse Opera as well as his debut with Opera de Monte-Carlo.
Michael Colvin makes debut at Dutch National Opera in Dialogues des Carmélites
Michael Colvin makes his Dutch National Opera debut on the 7 November 2015 as L'Aumônier du Carmel in Robert Carson’s acclaimed production of Dialogues des carmélites. Colvin is joined by Sally Matthews as Blanche, Jean-Francois Lapointe as Le Marquyis de las Force with Stéphane Denève conducting.
Colvin, a regular at leading houses across North America and Europe, recently made his Royal Opera House debut as Rodolphe.
"Michael Colvin’s rich lyrical tenor evoked the sinister cruelty of Rodolphe, Gelser’s commander."
Opera Today, June 2015
His recent highlights include Bob Boles and the title role of Peter Grimes for English National Opera, Goro and Dr Caius for Canadian Opera Company and his debut as Herod Salome with Northern Ireland Opera. Later this season, Colvin makes another company debut with Opéra de Paris as the Duke of Cormwall in Aribert Reimann’s Lear. He also returns to Canadian Opera Company as Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro.
Sofia Fomina & Michael Colvin star in new Guillaume Tell at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Sofia Fomina and Michael Colvin perform in Damiano Michieletto's new production of Rossini's Guillaume Tell at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, from 29 June 2015. Conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano, the cast also includes Gerald Finley, John Osborn and Malin Byström.
Sofia Fomina is returning to the Royal Opera House with a role debut as Jemmy, having first appeared at Covent Garden in 2012 as Isabelle in Laurent Pelly’s production of Robert Le Diable. Earlier this season, she made her Paris Opera debut as Blondchen and performed Zerbinetta, Blondchen, Nanetta and Musetta in Frankfurt.
Next season she returns to Covent Garden for Ariadne auf Naxos and to Bayerische Staatsoper for performances of Entführung aus dem serial (Blondchen) as well as her role debut as Oscar in a new production of Un ballo in maschera conducted by Zubin Mehta. On the concert platform she appears with the Czech Philarmonic and Jakub Hrůša for a New Year Gala performance of Carmina Burana and with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Edward Gardner as Nanetta in a concert version of Falstaff. Future plans include her role debuts as Olimpia, Konstanze and Berthe Le prophète.
A regular at leading houses across North America and Europe, Michael Colvin makes his Royal Opera House debut as Rodolphe. His recent highlights include Bob Boles and the title role of Peter Grimes for English National Opera, Goro and Dr Caius for Canadian Opera Company and his debut as Herod Salome with Northern Ireland Opera. Following this debut, he will make further house debuts with Dutch National Opera (L’Aumonier Dialogues des Carmelites) and Paris Opera (Duke of Cornwall King Lear).
Guillaume Tell opens on 29 June, and further performances are on 2, 5, 8, 10, 14 and 17 July.
Michael Colvin makes his role & house debut as Herod in Northern Ireland Opera’s Salome
Michael Colvin returns to his native Northern Ireland on 6 February to make his role and house debut as Herod in Salome with Northern Ireland Opera at the Grand Opera House, Belfast.
Colvin will sing alongside fellow Antrim born Giselle Allen as Salome with Robert Hayward as Jokanaan. The production is directed by Northern Ireland Opera’s Artistic Director, Oliver Mears, and conducted by Nicholas Chalmers.
Later on this season Colvin makes his Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, debut as Rodolphe in a new production of Guillaume Tell conducted by Music Director Sir Antonio Pappano.
Michael Colvin appears in recital with Scottish Opera
Michael Colvin appears in recital as part of Scottish Opera’s series entitled ‘Walter Scott and Opera’ for performances on 4, 7, 10 and 13 July. In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the publication of the Waverley Novels, the programme is inspired by some of Scott’s most popular works. Steeped in romanticism and heavily influenced by the supernatural, the recitals feature works by Donizetti, Rossini and Bizet as well as Arthur Sullivan and Scottish composer Hamish MacCunn. Colvin performs alongside baritone Roland Wood and soprano Judith Howarth with Derek Clark at the piano.
The recitals take place on 4 July in Edinburgh, 7 July in Melrose, Roxburghshire, 10 July in Aberdeen and 13 July in Glasgow.
Colvin comes fresh from his debut as Jacquino Fidelio with Le cercle de l’harmonie and Intermusica conductor Jérémie Rhorer. His 2014/15 season begins with a reprisal of this role for Manitoba Opera and further ahead he makes role debuts as Herod Salome and Mime Das Rheingold.
Michael Colvin steps in to sing Peter Grimes at English National Opera
Intermusica tenor Michael Colvin will step in tonight, Thursday 6 February, to sing the title role of Peter Grimes in David Alden's production at English National Opera. A fine Britten interpreter, he is highly regarded for his portrayal of character roles, especially Bob Boles which he has been singing during the current run of performances at ENO and earlier this season with Antonio Pappano and Accademia di Santa Cecilia and with Vladimir Jurowski and London Symphony Orchestra to critical acclaim:
“Michael Colvin’s Bob Boles, full of misplaced righteous indignation, is particularly well done.”
Neil Fisher, Times, February 2014
“I thought Michael Colvin was without doubt the best Bob Boles I have heard and seen; this ‘Methody’ struck a fine balance between a figure of fun and the conscience of the Borough, taking the moral high ground when regarding Grimes as a lost soul of a fisherman.”
Geoff Read, Seen and Heard International, September 2013
Further engagements include his French debut with Le Cercle de L’Harmonie and Jeremie Rhorer as Jacquino Fidelio in Paris, Strasbourg and Brussels, engagements with Canadian Opera Company and his debut with Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
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.