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English National Opera to perform Acis and Galatea and Paul Bunyan for the very first time as part of ENO Studio Live

4th January 2018 in Press

English National Opera (ENO) will perform Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Britten’s Paul Bunyan for the first time as part of its outside work series. ENO Studio Live forms part of ENO Outside which takes ENO’s work to arts-engaged audiences that may not have considered opera before, presenting the immense power of opera in more intimate studio and theatre environments.

Acis and Galatea (June 2018) will be directed by Sarah Tipple and performed at ENO’s historic rehearsal studios, Lilian Baylis House. ENO Studio Live launched in May 2017 with the UK premiere of Jonathan Dove’s The Day After, performed for the first time in a new choral version, and performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury. The initiative showcases emerging talent from the UK opera and theatre worlds as well as championing ENO’s own in-house talent and young directors. Paul Bunyan (September 2018) will be directed by Jamie Manton and will be ENO’s first collaboration with Wilton’s Music Hall.

The choice of these two productions celebrates the integral role that both Handel and Britten have played in the company’s history. For decades ENO has developed its reputation as ‘the house of Handel’ (The Sunday Telegraph) and, since its production of Semele in 1970, the company has performed 12 different operas by the composer. In 1945 Sadler’s Wells Opera (which became ENO in 1974) gave the world premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, and Britten’s music has been at the heart of the company ever since. In 2018, the year which marks fifty years of opera in residence at the London Coliseum, ENO will perform four works by Benjamin Britten: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Turn of the Screw, Paul Bunyan and War Requiem.

ENO’s Artistic Director, Daniel Kramer, commented:
‘It was truly inspiring to see our whole company pull together earlier this year to create the two productions that launched our ENO Studio Live series. We are so proud of the exceptional talent that we have at ENO, and I delighted that these next two productions will enable us to continue to celebrate young directors and designers while supporting some of the UK’s most exciting emerging singers.

Following the tremendous critical and audience response to Jamie Manton’s production of The Day After this summer I am particularly proud that Jamie is returning to work with the company and with our award-winning chorus on Paul Bunyan at Wilton’s Music Hall.

The music of Handel and Britten has played a vital role in ENO’s history, and constitutes part of the very DNA of our company. I am looking forward to the company’s first performances of these two works in the inspiring hands of two such impressive up-and-coming directors. Opera has the unique power to move and inspire people in a way that almost nothing else can, and it is very exciting to have the chance to share this with our existing and new audiences not only through our productions at the London Coliseum, but also in these intense and intimate studio settings.’

Acis and Galatea (six performances, 9-16 June 2018, Lilian Baylis House)
George Frideric Handel
John Gay

Acis and Galatea, based on John Gay’s text after an episode from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, is Handel’s first dramatic work written in English. The love of Acis and Galatea, and its disruption by the cyclops Polyphemus, sets the scene for Handel’s pastoral ‘little opera’, which remains one of his most charming and enduring works for the stage.

This production will be directed by Sarah Tipple, who recently revived Mike Leigh’s The Pirates of Penzance and Anthony Minghella’s Madam Butterfly for ENO. Acis and Galatea will be designed by Justin Nardella, associate to Anish Kapoor and Wolfgang Tillmans at ENO. Composer and member of ENO Music Staff Nicholas Ansdell-Evans conducts.

The six performances will take place at ENO’s historic rehearsal studios, Lilian Baylis House in West Hampstead, from the 8-13 June. Formerly the site of the West Hampstead Town Hall, and named after ENO’s founder, Lilian Baylis House was once the Decca Recording Studios and hosted many classical recording sessions alongside albums by Fleetwood Mac and David Bowie.

Performances will take place on the 9, 11, 12, 13, 15 & 16 June. A cast and further creative team announcement will be made in January 2018. Tickets will go on sale on the 30 January (priority booking) and 14 February (public booking) (eno.org, 020 7845 9300)

Paul Bunyan (six performances, 3-8 September, Wilton’s Music Hall)
Benjamin Britten
W. H. Auden

Paul Bunyan, Britten’s retelling of the legend of the eponymous giant as he builds a lumber farm, will be the first opera performed by ENO at Wilton’s Music Hall. The production will be directed by Jamie Manton, designed by Camilla Clarke and conducted by ENO Charles Mackerras Conducting Fellow Matthew Kofi Waldren.

Jamie Manton is the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of film and theatre production company Duelling Productions. A frequent ENO Associate Director, Jamie has worked with Daniel Kramer, Deborah Warner and Richard Jones. He returns to ENO Studio Live having directed the inaugural ENO Studio Live production, Jonathan Dove’s The Day After, with ‘impressive conviction’ (The Guardian).

Following its acclaim in London, Jamie will direct this production of The Day After when it travels to the Royal Scottish Conservatoire in Glasgow in Spring 2018.

Paul Bunyan features designs by Camilla Clarke, a winner of the 2015 Linbury Prize for Stage Design, who designed both The Day After and Trial by Jury for ENO Studio Live’s inaugural season. Camilla most recently designed Bad Roads at the Royal Court Theatre.

As ENO Mackerras Conducting Fellow, Matthew has assisted on productions of Don Giovanni and The Barber of Seville and will conduct a performance of The Marriage of Figaro at the London Coliseum in April 2018. He has worked extensively with the City of London Sinfonia and has conducted the London Mozart Players and National Festival Orchestra. A regular collaborator with Opera Holland Park, Matthew most recently conducted La rondine with the company.

Performances will take place on the 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 (matinee and evening performance) September. A cast and further creative team announcement will be made in January 2018. Tickets will go on sale on the 30 January (priority booking) and 14 February (public booking) (eno.org, 020 7845 9300)

–ends–

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.

The ENO Charles Mackerras Fellowship is one of a number of unique ENO talent development programmes for singers, musicians, composers and conductors which underpin the company’s commitment to British and British-trained talent. The award, which supports outstanding young conductors, is a joint initiative between ENO and the Philip Loubser Foundation, and celebrates the legacy of Sir Charles Mackerras.

Lilian Baylis House, ENO’s primary rehearsal space, was initially constructed as Victorian craftsmen’s workshops before becoming a recording studio in the 1920s. Formerly the site of West Hampstead Town Hall, Decca Records purchased the building in 1937 and the studios hosted recordings from a variety of well-known artists including Fleetwood Mac, the Rolling Stones and David Bowie.The studios closed in 1980 and were purchased a year later by ENO, who named the building after their founder, Lilian Baylis. This is the first time that fully-staged opera performances will take place in the rehearsal studios.

East London gem Wilton’s Music Hall re-opened the doors to its Grade II listed building in 2015 after extensive refurbishment. The oldest Grand Music Hall in the world, they are fast becoming one of the country’s most vibrant multi-arts venues, home to a year-round programme of live music and theatre productions which have been seen by over 40,000 people in the past year alone. It also houses two main bars which are much-loved destinations in their own right, serving a carefully selected range of beers, wines and spirits. Their delicious menu of seasonal dishes and small plates is designed by in-house caterers Gatherers and inspired by Wiltons’ distinctive heritage.