Autumn 2012 season announced

18th April 2012


Peter Maxwell Davies. Image by Richard Hubert Smith

English Touring Opera’s second collaboration with the award-winning Aurora Orchestra is surprising, risky, exciting and entertaining.

This season of three very different, highly theatrical operas written in the middle of the 20th century is sure to appeal to opera-goers who are interested in theatre, and theatre-goers who would like to try opera. Two of them will also have a special appeal to young people – and all three will have arresting designs by the team responsible for ETO’s Il tabarro and Gianni Schicchi, Neil Irish and Guy Hoare.

Best known is Britten’s sophisticated comedy of village life, Albert Herring – for which ETO has a sterling cast of worthies and ingénues, acting singers from the top drawer of British artists. Director Christopher Rolls will set it in period, so that the comedy of class and sexual mores will have full effect, and conductor Michael Rosewell will bring to it his deep knowledge of (and love for) Britten’s score.

Far from a village comedy is Peter Maxwell Davies’ opera thriller The Lighthouse – a taut, psychological drama treating the true story of the three Flannan Isles lighthouse keepers who disappeared over Christmas, 1900. Davies’ score pulsates with energy, and conjures perfectly the claustrophobia of the fogbound island and the lighthouse itself.

The Emperor of Atlantis is most famous for the circumstances of its composition: the composer, librettist, and all the original performers were inmates of a ‘model’ concentration camp, paraded before Red Cross authorities before being sent to their deaths at Auschwitz. The opera is a black comedy, innovative in musical style and dramatic presentation. Paired by director James Conway with Bach’s haunting cantata Christ lag in Todesbanden, it promises to be an unforgettable evening.

For more information and a full list of dates and locations, please visit the tour dates page of our website.

Want to find out more about the three productions? Then read this blog post by ETO’s general director James Conway.

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