Double Donizetti in February 2010 with Lucia di Lammermoor and The Elixir of Love directed by David Alden and Jonathan Miller
Date published: Fri 18 Dec 2009
Two of Donizetti’s most enduring operas Lucia di Lammermoor and The Elixir of Love are staged in February 2010. Lucia di Lammermoor, directed by David Alden, opens on 4 February with the star cast led by Anna Christy returning for its first revival. Jonathan Miller directs a new production, originally seen at New York City Opera, of the popular The Elixir of Love (opens on 12 February) with a strong cast led by Sarah Tynan and Andrew Shore with 1950s Hopper inspired sets by Isabella Bywater.
Lucia di Lammermoor
David Alden’s close relationship with ENO over the last three years has resulted in some memorable productions. His most recent ENO production of Peter Grimes has been hailed as a landmark production of Britten’s masterpiece and the outstanding operatic event of 2009.
Lucia di Lammermoor is a romantic tragedy loosely based on the novel by Sir Walter Scott. A run-down Victorian country estate provides the setting for David Alden’s evocative staging of feuding families and star-crossed lovers in which a young woman is driven to madness and murder by an oppressive, patriarchal society. Charles Edwards’s distressed Victorian interiors make a visual parallel with the financial and spiritual decay that lies at the heart of the tragedy.
A new translation of Donizetti’s opera was commissioned from Amanda Holden when it first premiered in 2008. The production team returns with Charles Edwards as set designer, costumes by Brigitte Reiffenstuel and lighting design by Adam Silverman.
British conductor Antony Walker, Music Director of Pittsburgh Opera and the first recipient of the Sir Charles Mackerras Conducting Award, leads an exciting cast. American soprano Anna Christy, whose performances in the lyric coloratura roles have quickly established her as one of the leading singers of her generation, made her British debut in the 2008 production. Barry Banks, who returns to ENO to sing Edgardo, is an internationally renowned tenor and a regular at New York’s Metropolitan Opera specialising in the bel canto repertoire. He shares the role with Jaewood Kim, who sings in the last four performances. For the revival the role of Enrico will be sung by Barry Mulligan, who made his debut in Madam Butterfly in 2009. Dwayne Jones takes the role of Arturo, international bass and ENO regular Clive Bayley sings Raimondo and Sarah Pring as Alice completes the cast.
The Elixir of Love
Jonathan Miller has worked with ENO for thirty years and directed some of his and the Company’s most enduring successes including productions of The Barber of Seville, The Mikado and Rigoletto. His most recent ENO production of Puccini’s La bohème was broadcast live on the opening night on Sky Arts 1 and Sky HD, while backstage action was simultaneously relayed live on Sky Arts 2.
Miller is joined by designer Isabella Bywater with whom he collaborates regularly. The action is relocated from its nineteenth-century Italian village environment to a more recent setting of innocence: a roadside restaurant (‘Adina’s Diner’) in the American Southwest, circa 1950. The creative team is completed with Lighting Designer Hans Åke Sjöquist.
Spanish-born rising star conductor Pablo Heras-Casado makes his UK opera debut conducting Donizetti’s charming love story which is brought to life by a strong cast. Following his ENO debut in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in 2008, John Tessier returns to sing the role of Nemorino, in which he made his acclaimed New York City Opera debut in 2006. ENO Young Singers graduate Sarah Tynan sings Adina; Andrew Shore is Dulcamara; David Kempster sings Belcore and Julia Sorsen performs the role of Gianetta.
The production belongs to the New York City Opera.
Lucia di Lammermoor opens at the London Coliseum on 4 February for 8 performances – 8, 11, 18, 20, 23, 26 February at 7.30pm & 14 February at 3pm.
Pre-performance talk with Donizetti biographer Jonathan Keates: 18 February, 5.30pm, London Coliseum, £4
The Elixir of Love opens at the London Coliseum on 12 February for 9 performances – 12, 19, 24 February and 3, 5, 11, 16 March at 7.30pm & 27 February at 6.30pm.
Pre-performance discussion with designer Isabella Bywater: 24 February, 5.30pm, London Coliseum, £4
After show gathering with The Elixir of Love cast and company: 27 February, Sky Bar, free (tickets required). This is aimed at first time opera-goers who want to find out more and offers the opportunity to meet the company and to discuss and share their experience with other audience members.
Box Office: 0871 911 0200 or online www.eno.org