English Touring Opera design new season of socially distanced, live performances

5th June 2020



At English Touring Opera we are working to produce a live season of lyric theatre this Autumn, touring in October and November. This programme is being designed to observe social distancing guidelines in the interest of the safety of our artists and audience.

For this reason, we have had to put aside for the moment the ambitious season of three twentieth century British operas (The Turn of the Screw, The Knot Garden and Greek) which we were scheduled to produce this Autumn. Instead we hope to create a series of lyric monodramas, made of 20th century operas and song cycles composed for solo singer and accompanist by composers such as Dominick Argento, Benjamin Britten, Francis Poulenc, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Michael Tippett. We hope to be able to bring full news of the challenging and unusual repertoire soon. The programme will feature some wonderful artists due to perform in our planned Autumn 2020 tour.

We are excited about exploring new ways to produce and tour opera and overcome the sizable challenges ahead. We expect to present work in venues well known to us and our audiences, as well as non-traditional performances venues, to reach as many people as possible, in communities that we have served across the country for decades. This new approach is designed for our longstanding, enthusiastic supporters and new audiences, whose appetite for live music has never been greater.

We have hugely enjoyed keeping music in people’s lives this spring, through our programme of digital work, curated and delivered by our freelance artists, which includes performances, insight talks, skills sharing and singing lessons and are delighted to have reached over 56,600 viewers through that programme, from across the globe, with 34 films. The overwhelming response to the programme has made us more committed than ever to bringing live music back to our towns and cities, as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.

We are grateful to all of our partners and funders with whom we will collaborate to make this season possible, not least Art Council England for their leadership and support of the sector in unprecedented times.

For live updates on English Touring Opera’s return to the stage, subscribe to our newsletter at englishtouringopera.org.uk and please enjoy our digital productions, while we prepare for our return.

If you have booked for a performance at Hackney Empire, the venue will contact you regarding your booking shortly.

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Autumn 2020 season digital programme

Click here to view the Autumn 2020 digital programme

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