Director, Simon McBurney
Conductor, Gergely Madaras
Complicite’s Simon McBurney returns to ENO with his new production of The Magic Flute.
Opening on 7 November, Simon McBurney’s new production of The Magic Flute is a darkly funny, dramatic and highly visual interpretation of Mozart’s theatrical genius. In McBurney’s interpretation, music casts a visible as well as audible spell, with the orchestra on view alongside breathtaking cinematographic projections, re-imagining Mozart’s rites of passage fairytale.
Building on ENO’s co-producing relationship with De Nederlandse Opera, The Magic Flute opened in December 2012 to great critical acclaim in Amsterdam. McBurney’s production received five-star reviews from the Dutch press: “a feast for the eyes and the ears” (Het Parool) and “Delicious!” (Trouw).
The Magic Flute continues the relationship between English National Opera and theatre company Complicite, who are celebrating their thirtieth anniversary this year. McBurney returns to ENO following his operatic debut and critical-success of A Dog’s Heart in 2010 (nominated for a 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production). The collaboration highlights ENO’s commitment to producing opera that is fresh and relevant for contemporary audiences by working with talent from across the creative industries.
An actor, writer, co-founder and artistic director of Complicite, Simon McBurney is recognised as one of the most important theatrical creators in the world today.McBurney is known to many through his acting roles in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and as Archdeacon Robert in the BBC TV comedy series Rev.
Collaborating with McBurney on The Magic Flute is costume designer Nicky Gillibrand, lighting designer Jean Kalman, sound designer Gareth Fry and choreographer Josie Daxter. Set designer Michael Levine and video designer Finn Ross, who both worked with McBurney on A Dog’s Heart, complete the exceptional creative team.
The Magic Flute marks Gergely Madaras’s ENO debut as conductor. Gergely is fast gaining an international reputation as one of the most exciting young European conductors of his generation and in 2012 became the first-ever recipient of the ENO Mackerras Fellowship at the age of 27. During his Fellowship, Madaras has worked alongside ENO Music Director Edward Gardner, assisting with several ENO productions. Madaras has recently been appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne.
The ENO Harewood Artists programme provides unrivalled professional development for British singers, placing them at the heart of ENO’s creative performances. This production features four such artists including Ben Johnson, in the role of Tamino, who leads a strong ensemble cast. Johnson played the role of Alfredo in ENO’s recent production of La traviata, described by The Guardian as “exceptional” and was recently awarded the Audience Prize at the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. Johnson is joined by fellow ENO Harewood Artists Mary Bevan as Papagena, Eleanor Dennis as First Lady and Anthony Gregory as First Priest/First Armed Man.
Returning to ENO following his standout performance in The Pilgrim’s Progress, Roland Wood sings the role of Papageno and German soprano Cornelia Götz makes her ENO debut as Queen of the Night. Götz has played the famous role at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Glyndebourne, Staatsoper Hamburg, Komische Oper, Berlin, Staatstheater Stuttgart and Festival Aix-en-Provence.
American soprano Devon Guthrie returns to ENO following her success as Susanna in Fiona Shaw’s The Marriage of Figaro to sing the role of Pamina. And American bass James Creswell, currently Rocco in Calixto Bieito’s Fidelio, is Sarastro.
The Magic Flute opens at the London Coliseum on 7 November 2013 for 12 performances –7, 12, 14, 19, 22, 28 November and 3, 5 December, 7.30pm, 9, 30 November, 6.30pm and 16 November and 7 December, 3.00pm
Pre-performance talk: Tuesday 12 November, 5.15pm-6pm, £5/£2.50 concessions
A co-production with the De Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam and International Festival of Lyric Art, Aix-en-Provence and in collaboration with Complicite.
Notes to Editors:
English National Opera (ENO) is the UK’s leading producer of world-class opera, sung in English. Working with the very best talent from across the arts and creative industries, we produce highly theatrical productions that push the boundaries of what opera can be. We champion British and British-trained talent by providing development programmes for singers, composers and conductors, placing them at the heart of our performances. Our productions are seen by audiences across Europe, North America and Australia thanks to partnerships with the world’s most celebrated opera houses. Though all our activities we aim to make our work enjoyable, accessible and affordable for as many people as possible.