Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. Translation by Edmund Tracey
Conductor, Richard Farnes
Opens 27 August (2 performances)
On Friday 27 and Sunday 29 August 2021 – as a part of South Facing Festival and on the grounds of the historical music venue Crystal Palace Bowl in Crystal Palace Park, South London – the English National Opera (ENO) will present a semi-staged outdoor performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca.
Tosca is a roller coaster story of love, lust, murder and political intrigue. Set in Rome at the time of Napoleon’s invasion of Italy, Tosca is a tragic story of passion and jealousy. It tells of the tempestuous opera singer, Floria Tosca, as she fights to save her lover Cavaradossi from the sadistic police chief, Scarpia. With its dramatic storyline and Puccini’s richly romantic score, it is one of the world’s best-loved operas.
Esteemed British conductor Richard Farnes will lead the award-winning ENO Orchestra and Chorus. Renowned internationally, Farnes has conducted for the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Danish Opera and London Symphony Orchestra. He was named Conductor of the Year in the 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society Opera and Music Theatre Award.
Award-winning Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw brings her ‘power and presence’ (The Daily Telegraph) to the eponymous Tosca. Romaniw is ‘a major operatic phenomenon’ (Opera Now). In 2020, she was awarded the prestigious Singer Award at the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, and Young Artist of the Year Award at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards. In the role of Cavaradossi is Korean tenor David Junghoon Kim, a former Jette Parker Young Artist (2017) and a winner of the much-coveted Francisco Viñas, Voci Verdiane and Toulouse singing competitions. When Kim performs, he sings with ‘radiance, lyricism and power’ (The Stage). The award-winning baritone Roland Wood will sing Scarpia. Wood has performed with all of the UK’s leading opera companies and is highly sought-after on the international stage. His talent is unparalleled as he has the ability to ‘tremendously… inhabit entirely’ (The Daily Telegraph) his roles.
Current ENO Harewood Artists British bass William Thomas and bass-baritone David Ireland will sing the roles of Sciarrone and Sacristan respectively. Thomas is considered to be one of the most promising singers of his generation and is the winner of a number of major awards, including the Kathleen Ferrier Award (2018) and the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition (2019). Ireland is a former member of the National Opera Studio, with ‘a voice to eagerly follow in the future enhanced by the most natural dramatic gifts.’ (Opera Now). In the role of Spoletta is Colin Judson, an established noteworthy tenor, who has previously been described as ‘the most completely thought-through, incisively sung and word perfect individual performance on stage’ (The Sunday Times). Angelotti will be sung by recent graduate of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and rising South African bass-baritone Simon Shibambu, who was a finalist of the 2018 Operalia competition and his ‘huge, resonant tone’ (The Guardian) is attracting significant international attention.
Artistic Director of the ENO, Annilese Miskimmon, says ‘Whether you are new to opera or an aficionado, this is the perfect time to join us for a magical evening of live classical music as the sun goes down. This is a fantastic opportunity for the ENO to bring one of the world’s most famous operas, Puccini’s Tosca, to the iconic Crystal Palace Bowl. Love, passion and intrigue all combine in an amazing evening of opera drama, with some of the most beautiful music ever written performed by internationally renowned opera stars and the full forces of the ENO Chorus and Orchestra. We are thrilled to be a part of the amazing South Facing Festival line-up’.
South Facing Festival is a brand new concert series coming to Crystal Palace Park this summer, drawing on the rich musical heritage of the influential South London venue. In its early years the park played host to wildly popular Handel concerts within the Crystal Palace itself: the glass and iron marvel of the Victorian age. In 1961 the Crystal Palace Concert Bowl opened in the grounds of the park with a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra, leading to successful Proms in the Park events. Since then, Crystal Palace Bowl has hosted Pink Floyd, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Bob Marley, and many more iconic artists.
Crystal Palace Bowl has won numerous architecture awards and South Facing Festival will take place in this extraordinary venue with a purpose-built stage on the lake. Large screens will relay the performance and microphones will be used for high quality sound to ensure all audience members are able to enjoy the performance. Audiences are encouraged to bring their own picnic blanket and/or pillows to settle in and make themselves comfortable on the grass. There are a limited number of seated tickets in Zone A close to the stage.
The creators behind South Facing Festival have produced detailed plans to create COVID-secure events that deliver high quality experiences for both artists and audiences. Operating the festival in a seated, picnic style allows audiences to have their own dedicated space with their family and friends.
South Facing Festival: Tosca opens on Friday 27 August 2021 in Crystal Palace Park for two performances: August 27 at 19.00, August 29 at 19.00.
Running Time: 2 hours 35 minutes (including 2 intervals)
Tickets cost £55, £45 and £35 plus a booking fee of 10% per ticket. Please note general tickets are seated on the grass and you are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket and/or cushions to make yourself comfortable on the ground. A limited number of seated tickets are available in Zone A for £65.91.
Notes to Editors
English National Opera is the national opera company dedicated to one simple aim: making opera for everyone. We sing in English to be accessible to the widest possible audience, as well as offering free tickets for under 21s, and for as little as ten pounds for everyone else. We create opera that feels different, theatrical and creatively daring and have been doing this to an internationally recognised standard since being founded in 1931 as Sadler’s Wells Opera.
From the world’s first large-scale drive-in opera, creative projects with young people, and TV broadcasts on BBC Two and Sky Arts, we strive to be bold and adventurous in everything we do. We take seriously our role of not just producing innovative work, but employing the arts as a catalyst for social good. We have partnered with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to develop ENO Breathe, a social prescribing intervention that provides crucial support to people recovering from COVID-19. So far, 50 NHS Trusts are signed up to refer participants to the programme.
We are passionate about making opera more inclusive and representative of the society in which we live, actively recruiting musicians and singers from an ethnically diverse background in our Orchestra and Chorus Fellowships and Director Observership programme for emerging directors.
Showcasing the wealth of nationwide talent is fundamental to the ENO’s vision. Our talent development programmes continue to nurture the careers of singers (the ENO Harewood Artists programme), conductors (the ENO Mackerras Fellowship), musicians (ENO Evolve) and critics (ENO Response). Demonstrating our ongoing support and development of British talent, 90% of the cast in the 21/22 season is British, British-based or British-trained.
We believe that positive change for the industry also comes from removing barriers to access. We offer free tickets to under 21s to every performance and at every level of the theatre, and have extended discounts for under 35s. We have increased our number of relaxed performances, which are designed to be more accessible for those who may benefit from a more relaxed environment at the theatre.
ENO is for everyone, and always will be.
South Facing Festival
A brand new, month-long, outdoor concert series. Taking place at the Crystal Palace Bowl, one of London’s most iconic outdoor venues. Headline acts include Supergrass, The Streets, Max Richter, ENO and lots more.
5-29 August 2021, Crystal Palace Bowl.