Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
Francesco Maria Piave
Conductor, Leo McFall / Toby Purser (11 April)
Director, Daniel Kramer
Daniel Kramer directs his first opera as ENO Artistic Director, a sweepingly romantic interpretation of La traviata
Opens Friday 16 March at 7.30pm at the London Coliseum (10 performances)
Daniel Kramer will direct his first opera as English National Opera’s Artistic Director this spring. This production of La traviata, which played to sold-out houses following its premiere at Theater Basel, is a sweepingly romantic take on one of opera’s most heartbreaking stories. Irish soprano Claudia Boyle will perform the role of Violetta alongside South African singer Lukhanyo Moyake as Alfredo. Singing the role of Giorgio Germon is Alan Opie, who celebrates 50 years since he first sang with ENO.
Daniel Kramer said:
‘Almost every note of Verdi’s masterpiece raises up the life of a women who has been deemed dishonourable by society. Through La traviata, Verdi invites us to listen to the magnanimous love of a character who makes a sacrifice which few others would be willing or able to consider. His music is, for me, a love letter to the tender and graceful Violetta.
I believe that our core audience come to ENO wanting to have new light shed upon these well-loved classics. This is also one of my key passions when directing opera or theatre, and has informed our approach to this intensely moving story of love and sacrifice.
As our world continues to confront the treatment of women in our society we have worked to share the story of a woman who, despite her heartbreaking circumstances, rises above the judgmental and abusive world around her and passes through her life with integrity and grace.’
Daniel Kramer was appointed Artistic Director of English National Opera in April 2016, taking up the position in August that year. His work with ENO extends backs to 2008. He was selected as part of ENO’s young director’s initiative for which he directed Punch and Judy at the Young Vic which subsequently won the South Bank Show Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. Daniel returned to ENO in 2009 to direct Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle at the London Coliseum and Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, conducted by former ENO Music Director Edward Gardner and designed by Anish Kapoor. He has been an Associate at the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill and the Young Vic, and a Creative Associate at the Royal Shakespeare Company. The 18/19 season, launched on the 1 May, will be the first that he has curated as ENO Artistic Director.
The ephemeral, image-conscious world of the courtesan Violetta will be brought to life through the designs of Lizzie Clachan, one of the most acclaimed set designers currently working in London theatre. She has recently been praised for her ‘extraordinary’ (The Guardian) work on the Young Vic’s Yerma, and for the National Theatre’s As You Like It.
Irish soprano Claudia Boyle will sing Violetta, the eponymous ‘fallen woman’. A fomer member of the Salzburger Festpiel’s Young Singers Project, her international profile has been dramatically raised through highly-acclaimed performances in London, Berlin, Rome and New York. For ENO Claudia has previously sung the roles of Leïla in The Pearl Fishers (2016) and a ‘standout’ (The Guardian) Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance (2015).
Up-and-coming South African tenor Lukhanyo Moyake makes his UK debut as Alfredo. South Africa’s representative in 2017’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, Lukhanyo has been performing at the Cape Town Opera Company since his graduation in 2010. His roles there include Alfredo in La traviata, Jaquino in Fidelio and Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress. In 2015 and 2016 he was a finalist of the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition (held in Amsterdam) and was also placed third in the Neue Stimmen International Singing Competition (held in Germany).
ENO legend and internationally acclaimed baritone Alan Opie will return for his second ENO engagement of the season. He follows his debut in the comic role of Doctor Bartolo (The Barber of Seville) with Violetta’s controlling father, Giorgio Germont. Alan’s previous performances in this role have been described as ‘full of feeling’ (The Guardian) and ‘consistently compelling’ (WhatsOnStage).
A nominee for Best Male Singer in the 2018 International Opera Awards, bass-baritone Henry Waddington will sing Dr Grenvil. Welsh tenor Aled Hall makes his ENO debut as Viscount Gaston and ENO Harewood Artist Božidar Smiljanić sings the Marquis. The cast is completed by Benjamin Bevan (Baron Douphol), Heather Shipp (Flora Bervoix) and Martha Jones (Annina).
Rising young British conductor Leo McFall will make his ENO debut with this production. Winner of the 2015 German Conductor’s Prize, he is among the foremost conductors of his generation, and received much praise for his performances with the Glyndebourne Tour and with Opera North. He will be assisted by ENO Mackerras Fellow Toby Purser, who will also conduct the performance on the 11 April.
The creative team is completed by Cosume Designer Esther Bialas, Lighting Designer Charles Balfour and Choreographer Teresa Rotemberg.
La traviata opens on Friday 16 March at 7.30pm at the London Coliseum for 10 performances: 16, 22, 24, 28 March and 3, 5, 11, 13 April at 7.30pm, 31 March at 6.30pm and 8 April at 3pm.
500 tickets for £20 or less are available for each performance. Tickets start from £12.
A co-production with Theater Basel
Notes to Editors:
English National Opera is founded on the belief that opera of the highest quality should be accessible to everyone. We are a national company of international standard. We forge ground-breaking collaborations across art forms, and our world-class productions inspire, surprise, and captivate. We sing in English. We believe that singing in our own language connects the performers and the audience to the drama onstage, and enhances the experience for all. We bring our productions to the widest possible audience, whether at the London Coliseum, nationally or internationally. We make our work accessible by offering a large proportion of tickets at affordable prices, and by distributing it widely on screen and via digital media. We nurture talent across the entire company, whether on-stage, backstage, or in the pit. We provide a platform for young singers to develop global careers.
We tell the world’s most timeless stories, unforgettably.
Clauda Boyle Violetta Valéry
Lukhanyo Moyake Alfredo Germont
Alan Opie – Giorgio Germont
Henry Waddington – Dr Grenvil
Aled Hall – Viscount Gaston
Benjamin Bevan – Baron Douphol
Božidar Smiljanić – Marquis
Heather Shipp – Flora Bervoix
Martha Jones – Annina