Call Me George
A celebration of the life of George Harewood
24th June 2014, 7.00pm at the London Coliseum
Edward Gardner OBE, Sir Mark Elder CBE and Paul Daniel CBE to conduct a spectacular musical celebration of the life of George Harewood
English National Opera will present a unique musical celebration of the life of Lord Harewood in aid of ENO’s renowned Harewood Artists programme. The gala evening will be led by three of the UK’s most celebrated British conductors and will include a surprise performance from three of Britain’s most treasured and internationally acclaimed sopranos. This collaborative event will feature ENO Harewood Artists and the Orchestra and Chorus of English National Opera alongside a sensational cast of guest artists, including Lesley Garrett, Sir John Tomlinson and Christopher Purves.
All proceeds from the event will help support ENO’s Harewood Artists programme. This initiative, the first of its kind in the UK, enables exceptionally talented UK-trained singers to perform with a major opera company while receiving specialist coaching, support and guidance. The name of the scheme honours the long-standing support and leadership of the company by George Harewood and his life-long commitment to talent development and young British singers.
George Harewood played a crucial role in ENO’s history as Managing Director of Sadler’s Wells Opera (which became English National Opera) from 1972 until 1985. He then became Chairman and remained as the company’s President until his death in July 2011. His introduction of a series of groundbreaking productions of both standard repertory pieces and less well known works catapulted ENO into the international league of opera companies. He was an inspiring collaborator and mentor to countless singers, conductors and directors including Lesley Garrett, Sir Willard White, Sir Mark Elder, Sir Nicholas Hytner and Sir Jonathan Miller.
The gala celebration will be compèred by internationally acclaimed opera director David Pountney who, after becoming ENO Director of Productions in 1980, directed over 20 operas at the London Coliseum. He has devised the content of the gala evening alongside writer, editor and producer Henrietta Bredin and will direct the evening together with ENO Staff Director Elaine Tyler-Hall.
An exceptionally rich musical programme will reflect the diverse passions and interests of George Harewood, placing an impressive variety of operatic arias, ensembles and interludes alongside recordings of blues and sitar music and a joint appearance from Lesley Garrett and the Band of the Grenadier Guards. The live performances will include the Overture to Verdi’s La forza del Destino, the Act One quintet from The Magic Flute, the Prisoners’ chorus from Beethoven’s Fidelio and the Finale of Verdi’s Falstaff.
The performances will be conducted by three celebrated conductors, all of whom experienced significant success during their tenures as ENO Music Directors. All three have led the BBC Symphony Orchestra for the internationally televised Last Night of the Proms and have also received Olivier Awards for their outstanding operatic work.
ENO Music Director from 1979-1999, Sir Mark Elder CBE is currently Music Director of the Hallé Orchestra, and has worked with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras and opera houses. Paul Daniel CBE held the position of ENO Music Director from 1997-2005 and has also been Music Director of Opera North, the English Northern Philharmonia and Opera Factory. Current ENO Music Director Edward Gardner OBE has been Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra since 2011 and will take up his new appointment as Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2015.
Since its introduction in 1998 the ENO Harewood Artists programme has launched the international careers of a significant number of British singers, including Sophie Bevan, Allan Clayton and Anna Grevelius. In addition to important appearances throughout the 2013/14 season, a number of current ENO Harewood Artists have recently taken principal roles across the ENO 2014 summer season, including Mary Bevan as a ‘bewitching’ Despina and Kate Valentine as a ‘lovely’ Fiordiligi in Phelim McDermott’s Così fan tutte (The Independent). Nicky Spence performs as Francesco in Terry Gilliam’s Benvenuto Cellini and George von Bergen and Barnaby Rea will sing Zurga and Nourabad in Penny Woolcock’s first revival of The Pearl Fishers. ENO’s commitment to showcasing the best of young British operatic talent continues across the 2014/15 season, as ten ENO Harewood Artists will take eighteen named roles in fifteen productions.
Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes (including one interval)
ENO Box Office: 020 7845 9300
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 create distinctive, highly theatrical productions and stage more new work and contemporary opera than any other UK opera company. We champion British and British-trained talent by placing it at the heart of our performances and providing unique development programmes for singers, musicians, composers and conductors. Our productions are seen by audiences across the world thanks to partnerships with its most celebrated opera houses and cinema transmissions by ENO Screen (www.eno.org/ENOScreen). Through all our activities we aim to make our work enjoyable, accessible and affordable for as many people as possible.
Call Me George
The National Anthem arr. Benjamin Britten
Overture to La forza del destino Giuseppe Verdi
The Song of the Flea (Faust) Modest Mussorgsky
Prelude from Die Walküre Richard Wagner
Gloriana, opening of Act Two Benjamin Britten
Walther’s Prize Song (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) Richard Wagner
recording: Alfred Piccaver
Ah, perhaps he is the one (La traviata) Giuseppe Verdi
Bad Penny Blues Humphrey Lyttelton
Dein ist mein ganzes Herz (Das Land des Lächelns) Franz Lehár
Act One Quintet (The Magic Flute) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Va, laisse couler mes larmes (Werther) Jules Massenet
This is the Army, Mr Jones Irving Berlin
Lesley Garrett and the Band of the Grenadier Guards
Act Four duet (La Bohème) Giacomo Puccini
Prisoners’ chorus from Fidelio Ludwig van Beethoven
Ending of Act One (The Cunning Little Vixen) Leoš Janáček
Sunday Morning Interlude(Peter Grimes) Benjamin Britten
Lute Song(Gloriana) Benjamin Britten
Act Four Duet (Don Carlos) Giuseppe Verdi
xxxx raag Sitar: Ravi Shankar
Leeds Leeds Leeds
Lesley Garrett and the Band of the Grenadier Guards
Mark Elder - Introduction to the ENO years and tribute to Lord Harewood
Under thy shade (Xerxes) George Frideric Handel
Scene from Act Three of Rusalka Antonín Dvorák
Act Three Aria (Rigoletto) Giuseppe Verdi
Trio (Der Rosenkavalier) Richard Strauss
Finale (Falstaff) Giuseppe Verdi