Director Jonathan Kent and ENO’s Music Director Edward Gardner work together on their first Wagner opera, The Flying Dutchman.
Date published: Fri 02 Mar 2012
Following ENO’s critically-acclaimed production of Parsifal in 2011, director Jonathan Kent and ENO’s Music Director Edward Gardner work together on their first Wagner opera, The Flying Dutchman.
One of Wagner’s earliest operas to feature the theme of redemption through death, ENO’s new production of The Flying Dutchman builds on the critical success of 2011’s Parsifal – “a staging that is as good as any Wagner seen in London in the last 20 years” (The Guardian) – highlighting ENO’s commitment to produce highly theatrical world-class opera. ENO’s production of The Flying Dutchman is the first Wagner opera for both director Jonathan Kent and conductor, ENO’s Music Director, Edward Gardner. Jonathan Kent, a former Artistic Director of the cutting-edge Almeida Theatre, is an opera director in demand from Santa Fe to St Petersburg. His production of Sweeney Todd for Chichester Festival Theatre recently opened in London’s West End and has been described as “grim and gripping” (The Times) and “easily the finest I’ve seen” (Evening Standard). The Flying Dutchman follows Kent’s 2005 acclaimed production with ENO of Tippett’s A Child of our Time.
ENO’s Olivier Award-winning Music Director, Edward Gardner says, “I’m delighted to be working on my first Wagner opera as conductor. This house has one of the greatest Wagner traditions in the world, stretching back through Reginald Goodall’s Ring Cycle to recent performances of Parsifal. With this world-class ENO team, I hope to build on that reputation with this wonderful opera.”
The Flying Dutchman tells the story of a ghostly sea captain, cursed to roam the seas until he can find a woman who will be true to him. Despite having found a woman who swears fidelity unto death, he mistrusts her until she makes the ultimate sacrifice to provide his salvation.
Completing the creative team is internationally-renowned designer Paul Brown and multi award-winning lighting designer Mark Henderson. Brown and Henderson worked with Kent and Gardner on the 2007 production of The Turn of the Screw at Glyndebourne. Henderson is the winner of 5 Olivier Awards, 1 Welsh BAFTA and a Tony Award for Lighting Design.
Leading the cast is American bass, James Creswell. James made his ENO debut in 2009 at Timur in Rupert Goold’s Turandot and returns to ENO to sing The Dutchman for the first time. Orla Boylan, who sang “a radiant” (Independent on Sunday) Sieglinde in ENO’s The Valkyrie, sings Senta. Clive Bayley, who has sung many leading roles at ENO and other UK opera houses, plays Daland.
Playing Erik is Stuart Skelton, who was highly praised for his role as the eponymous hero in ENO’s production of Parsifal in 2011. Skelton was nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance in the title role of Peter Grimes in ENO’s 2010 production, with Opera Magazine saying, “it's hard to imagine that Stuart Skelton could be bettered as Grimes”.
Launching in mid-March, ENO is developing a mobile application in order to introduce newcomers to Wagner’s work. The application will feature exclusive video and audio footage as well as inviting users to recreate their own image in Wagnerian costume and accessories. ENO is the first UK opera house to use an application in this way to promote a specific work to new audiences, highlighting ENO’s work in extending the boundaries of opera.
The Flying Dutchman opens at the London Coliseum on 28 April for 7 performances – 28 April & May 1, 12, 16, 18 and 23 at 7.30pm and May 5 at 6.30pm.
Signed Performance, Wednesday 16 May, 7.30pm
Pre-performance talk, Tuesday 1 May, 4.45-5.30pm, £5
New production supported by a syndicate of individual donors
Notes to Editors:
ENO is creating the future of opera by:
- Staging contemporary highly theatrical work which is world class
- Working with creative talent from across the arts
- Reaching new audiences
- Developing and supporting British talent
For further press information please contact:Christopher Calvert Press Officer 02078459245 firstname.lastname@example.org