Music by Poul Ruders; Libretto by Paul Bentley

The Handmaid's Tale

Memory is strength. Love is resistance.

Based on Margaret Atwood’s seminal novel, Poul Ruders’s The Handmaid’s Tale plunges us into the Republic of Gilead, where women have been entirely stripped of their rights and freedoms.

The opera tells the story of a Handmaid given the name Offred, one of the fertile women forced to reproduce with Commanders of the Republic. This thought-provoking work magnifies the issues of state control and the fragility of freedom, as Offred wrestles with the daily terror of her reality.

With Danish composer Ruders’s score, with a libretto by Paul Bentley, influenced by minimalism, medieval chanting and gospel music, the dissonant brutality of Gilead is viscerally depicted in the opera’s music itself.

This powerful new production is directed by ENO’s Artistic Director Annilese Miskimmon and conducted by contemporary music specialist Joana Carneiro. An exceptional cast includes mezzo-sopranos Kate Lindsey as Offred, with Susan Bickley as her mother, soprano Emma Bell as Aunt Lydia, and Harewood Artist John Findon as Luke. 

Book your tickets to see The Handmaid’s Tale opera on stage at the London Coliseum.

Our suggested age guidance for The Handmaid’s Tale is 15+. This production depicts scenes of sexual violence, suicide, death, coercive and controlling behaviour and contains strong language throughout. For further detail, read our detailed production guidance. 


0 Evening Performances Remaining
0 Matinee Performances Remaining
Running Time
2hrs 45mins

We offer brilliant opera experiences at a range of affordable prices. Tickets start at just £10 plus £2.25 booking fee per ticket. A maximum of £9.00 per transaction is charged for Multi-Buy Packages.

Sung in English. Our surtitles system displays sung words above the stage.

Please be aware that this production contains some adult content which may not be suitable for young audiences.

For more information, please contact the London Coliseum on 020 7845 9300 or

Discover The Handmaid's Tale

Creative Team

Joana Carneiro


Annilese Miskimmon


Annemarie Woods

Set & Costume Designer

Paule Constable

Lighting Designer

Imogen Knight

Movement Director and Intimacy Coordinator

Akhila Krishnan

Video Designer

Yvonne Gilbert

Sound Designer