English Touring Opera - Upcoming events http://englishtouringopera.org.uk/productions/rss/ Upcoming events at Warwick Arts Centre en-gb <![CDATA[Don Giovanni]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Curve, Leicester Don Giovanni, a Spanish nobleman, travels through Europe seducing women, accompanied by his long-suffering servant Leporello. When his actions lead to murder, he unleashes vengeance from beyond the grave.

© Richard Hubert Smith

Unmissable… Gets practically everything right.

★★★★★ WhatsOnStage

A terrific show, which proves once again what a treasure ETO really is.

★★★★ Telegraph

A fine achievement, and the best UK staging of Don Giovanni for some time.

★★★★ Guardian

Is Don Giovanni a hero who defies all authority, or an amoral faker, a rapist and a murderer? To whichever conclusion you are pulled by the first, immortal bars of the score, every performance of Mozart and Da Ponte’s masterpiece is a musical and dramatic whirlwind, culminating in a supernatural intervention. It is as if the gods, or the dead, are summoned to finish the man who acknowledges no father, no law, no love, no fate.

With George von Bergen/Nicholas Lester in the title role, Matthew Stiff as Leporello, and a formidable trio of women in opposition, Lloyd Wood’s new production, conducted by Michael Rosewell, promises a heady evening.

New production, sung in English
All performances surtitled except 13 April (Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham), 27 April (Cambridge Arts Theatre) and 25 May (Exeter Northcott Theatre)

2016-03-11T19:30:00 2016-06-10T19:30:00
<![CDATA[Iphigenie en Tauride]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Curve, Leicester When Oreste and Pylade are shipwrecked on the island of Tauride, the king Thoas demands they be sacrificed. At the center of the drama is Iphigénie: forced to live among her enemies, she holds Oreste's life in her hands - unaware that he is her brother.

© Richard Hubert Smith

Musically it’s terrific.

5 STARS, Guardian

And if you want to hear world-class singing, that’s what you’ll get from soprano Catherine Carby in the title role.

4 STARS, Independent

Serious opera lovers shouldn’t miss it.

4 STARS, Telegraph

One of the most refined and perfect of operas, Iphigénie en Tauride is a stark, beautiful account of the meeting of Iphigenia and Orestes, children of Agamemnon, in the aftermath of the Trojan War.

Snatched from human sacrifice by a goddess at the outset of the war, Iphigenia (Catherine Carby) is Diana’s priestess at Aulis, where her instructions are to sacrifice all strangers. Led there by fate is the brother (Grant Doyle) she can hardly remember, fresh from the family bloodbath back home.

With characters like gods, and a goddess like a child, Gluck’s opera is an eloquent, heart-wrenching masterpiece.

New production, sung in French with English surtitles
Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes (incl. interval)

2016-03-05T19:30:00 2016-06-01T19:30:00
<![CDATA[Pia de' Tolomei]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - York Theatre Royal Ghino has fallen in love with Pia, wife of his brother Nello. When she refuses his love, as revenge Ghino informs Nello that he has discovered a secret message proving that Pia has an adulterous relation.

© Jane Hobson

A superb evening of opera.

★★★★★ Bachtrack

An exciting production of this taut bel canto drama.

★★★★ Guardian

Donizetti’s rarely performed Pia de’ Tolomei is drawn from an episode in Dante’s Divine Comedy in which a noblewoman is locked in a tower in the Maremma by her jealous husband, whose heart has been poisoned by a friend and kinsman – whose advances the innocent wife had rejected.

The characters are drawn with extraordinary intensity, and the two men in particular are reminiscent of Iago and Othello. This production, performed by an exceptional cast, should be a very special event.

New production, sung in Italian with English surtitles
Running time: 2 hours 17 minutes (incl. interval)

Discover more

• Conductor’s notes: Pia Unpacked

Music playlist

2016-03-10T19:30:00 2016-06-03T19:30:00
<![CDATA[Laika the Spacedog]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Explore Acomb, York Award-winning interactive opera for children aged 7–11 and their families returns to the UK in Spring 2016.

Laika the Spacedog flies again in Spring 2016, touring across the UK to schools and other venues. The opera toured the country in 2013 to great acclaim, and in the autumn of that year travelled to Szeged in Hungary, where it won the Jury Prize and the University Prize as Best Production of the mainstream Armel Opera Festival. It was then performed at the Opéra Grand in Avignon. The opera also won the PRS David Bedford Music Education Award.

Watch a photo essay showing the journey of the production, from making and rehearsal to its first performance:

Written for children and family audiences, it is designed for Key Stage 2 in primary schools, and incorporates many areas of the curriculum, including science, history and literacy as well as music. The music is by Russell Hepplewhite, words and direction by Tim Yealland, design by Jude Munden, and animation by Babis Alexiadis.

The opera’s thrilling story is told in many diverse ways by nine professional performers – and also includes archive film, filmed animation (created with children) and puppetry. The characters include the idealistic young student Mikhael, the great scientist Korolev, the dog-hating Valentina, and of course the little dog herself. The piece features also a specially made theremin (the original electronic instrument), along with percussion, clarinet, cello and bassoon.

The action takes us from an apartment in Moscow to Gorky Park, to the Kremlin (where we meet President Khrushchev), and finally to the Cosmodrome in Baikonur, brought to life with stunning design, and from where we launch the famous Sputnik rockets. The piece is highly interactive, and includes songs for everyone. A comprehensive teachers’ pack and CD support the project.

2016-03-15T00:00:00 2016-03-15T00:00:00
<![CDATA[Visual to Vocal ]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Dulwich Picture Gallery A new project for people living with dementia and their carers, in partnership with Dulwich Picture Gallery and Dulwich College.

In 2016 ETO is collaborating once more with Dulwich Picture Gallery and with Dulwich College in ‘Visual to Vocal’, a groundbreaking project that sees us creating new work in response to paintings in the Gallery’s collection. The project is for people living with dementia and their carers, and takes place on 10 consecutive weeks with a performance at the end.

This is the fourth project at the Gallery, and has an unusual starting point. The famous actor Edward Alleyn played the title role in Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, and his response to the apparition of real devils on stage in one performance was to donate the sums that led to the founding of Dulwich College. In our story – to be performed in the College on *5th July at 6.00pm *– the participants play angels set on saving some boys from damnation.

The composer is Rachel Leach and the writer/director is Tim Yealland. We are joined by students from Dulwich College, and by Pedro Merchan (bassoon) and Raph Clarkson (trombone).

There will be a pop-up performance by this year’s Visual to Vocal participants on Tuesday 28 June at 3.30pm at Dulwich Picture Gallery. All are welcome to attend: please click here for directions and visitor information.

2016-05-24T14:00:00 2016-05-24T14:00:00
<![CDATA[Dust Child]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Sandside Lodge School A new interactive opera for young people with Special Educational Needs in Spring 2016.

Image © Gabriela Sandoval

Dust Child is ETO’s latest opera created especially for young people with special needs and follows RedBlueGreen, Spin, Rumbled, and most recently Waxwings. Interactive, multisensory and vivid, the opera is designed to engage with and excite young people with a range of different and complex needs and interests, using music, movement, tactile props and participation.

Created by the talented young team of composer James Garner, writer/director Anna Pool and designer Anna Driftmier, Dust Child will visit special schools around the country in the spring. Three singers take the main roles, and are accompanied by a string trio. The musical world of the piece borrows from different styles, including the folk traditions of the American mid-west.

The opera tells the story of Sylvia. Sylvia loves the stars. From the farm where she lives with Mama, you can see hundreds of them glittering in the night sky. But when Mama gets sick and there is no water to make her better, Sylvia (and our brave audience) must set out on a perilous quest across the dusty desert to find her some, with only the stars to guide their way…

Running Time: approx 50 minutes.

We really enjoyed the performance and I got very positive feedback from staff, who felt that there was a good balance of music, singing, action, interactive opportunities, and good changes of mood and pace, all of which help to engage our pupils. Some of the children were able to tell me that they enjoyed it but with others, we can only interpret responses, which indicated real enjoyment and good attention – so thank you!

Assistant Headteacher, The Hall School (about Waxwings, 2015)

ETO’s production of Dust Child has been made possible thanks to the generous support of:
Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund
The Equitable Charitable Trust

2016-03-15T00:00:00 2016-03-15T00:00:00
<![CDATA[Summer Projects]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Chingford Foundation School Educational projects throughout summer 2016

Flood Alert!
Sir Tom Finney School, Preston
This is the 11th year we have worked with Sir Tom Finney High School in Preston, devising over the course of a week with a committed group of 35 young people with special needs. The piece in 2016, performed in April this year, is Flood Alert, and examines the recent Lancashire floods, and the chaos they brought. The new opera sees our house floating away one night, and the extraordinary and magical events that ensue. The performance is on Sunday 29 May.

The Giant of Willow Dene
Willow Dene Special School
We are delighted to be working for the first time with Willow Dene Special School in Bexley. Over the course of May we are devising a new opera based loosely on Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant. A group of 22 children are performing their new piece on Friday 27th May at 2pm. The story features a female giant (Catrine Kirkman) and a garden that the children accidentally destroy. We are joined by clarinettist David Mears and bassist Alice Kent. Rachel Leach is the composer.

Madd Day
On Monday 27 June we return to Chingford Foundation School to curate a Madd Day for the entire Year 9 group of 240 students. Capoeira, Rangoli, breakdance, beatbox, songwriting, drumming, Tai Chi, and paper model making all feature as part of an extraordinary arts day, delivered by some of the best artists in the country.

Sand, Surf, Snow
Winterbourne Academy
Working with a group from Winterbourne Academy in Gloucestershire and children from local primary schools, we are creating a new opera in the course of a week, which reflects the journey many thousands of people, adults and children, make every month to the apparent safety of Europe. This new piece is devised with the help of composer Llywelyn ap Myrddin, director Tim Yealland, designer Jude Munden, and players David Mears, Alex Hearne, and Pedro Merchan. The performances are on Friday 15 July, 2pm and 6pm at the Winterbourne Academy Theatre.

New SEN opera
The process of devising our new professional opera for young people with special needs begins this summer with workshops with Key Club, a group of young adults who have autistic spectrum disorders. The group will help create the content of the opera (to be performed nationwide next Spring), including the words, the music and the design. Lead artists include composer Llywelyn ap Myrddin, designer Ruth Paton and animator Babis Alexiadis.

ETO Education Film
Clips from some of the projects that we have done with schools, groups and communities around the country.

2016-05-29T13:00:00 2016-05-29T13:00:00
<![CDATA[National Portrait Gallery]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - National Portrait Gallery English Touring Opera and National Portrait Gallery collaborate once more to inspire brand new musical theatre composition with primary schools.

Using the National Portrait Gallery’s collection, and working in collaboration with professional musicians from English Touring Opera, primary school children aged 7-11 are introduced to a portrait, and encouraged to create words and music to perform their own piece to the public in front of the chosen portrait.

Primary teachers can now explore the skills used in this project in their own teaching by attending our CPD day on 25 June 2015. More information here.

Recent feedback

“I didn’t know paintings could be so interesting!”
“I want to play piano as good as Pete when I grow up.”
“I’m going to ask my mum if we can come back to the gallery in the holidays so I can show her the painting and sing her the song.”

It was fun thinking of ideas, working in a team and looking at the portraits. The best part was making up the story. I loved the song!

Guadalupe, 10

Amazing, it was fun learning and making the song about T.S. Eliot. The best part was working and brainstorming the song. Never close down the gallery!

Niamh, 10

The workshop on Thursday was excellent – thoroughly enjoyed by children and staff. Pete pitched the work at the perfect level for our Y3-5 mixed group (I know it’s not always easy with a mixed group). The children were buzzing all the way home. We also had some parents who came to watch the performance and were really impressed too.

Teacher, Chase Bridge School

We had a fabulous time. What a really great project with terrific end results, the kids were all so thrilled with their song. Pete was inspirational. Do book us in again next year.

Teacher, St Paul’s CE Primary School

Eight years of collaboration!

2015 marks the eighth year of this remarkable collaboration between English Touring Opera and the National Portrait Gallery. Combining the visual arts, with history, literacy, and music this series of inspiring and creative workshops provides an opportunity for teachers of Key Stage 2 to deepen their pupils’ appreciation and understanding in these curriculum areas.

How does the day work?

Pictures in the collection serve as a jumping off point for new composition. The children are taken to one of the Gallery spaces, where they are introduced to a historical or contemporary portrait. Using their newfound knowledge of the portrayed character, the pupils then begin instant music-theatre composition, working with professional musicians in the workshop space to create their own original lyrics and music. The workshop lasts a full day and concludes with the children returning to the portrait in the main Gallery to perform their composition in public.

These workshops are run biannually at the National Portrait Gallery and are led by leading musicians and animateurs Paul Griffiths and Pete Letanka assisted by a range of other professional musicians.

Contact and booking details

The workshop is suitable for all Key Stage 2 classes and lasts a full day.

For more details please email Tim Yealland or Lucy Beech at ETO, or call 020 7833 2555.

English Touring Opera and the National Portrait Gallery would like to acknowledge the generous support of Sarah and Geoff Roberts for this project.

2010-05-04T10:30:00 2010-09-24T10:30:00
<![CDATA[Xerxes]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Hackney Empire A revival of Handel's comedic masterpiece set in 1940 during the Battle of Britain.

®Richard Hubert Smith

Covent Garden would count itself lucky to host a baroque show of this calibre.

★★★★★ Independent

A production that takes flight in more ways than one.

★★★★ WhatsOnStage

Musically gripping from take-off to landing.


One of ETO’s most warm-hearted and humorous productions of recent years was Xerxes, which saw Handel’s astonishing setting of a Venetian text relocated to the Battle of Britain, with the Persian king recast as a glamorous prince-turned-pilot jealous of his brother’s stronger sex appeal.

The score is absolutely Handel at his best, sometimes fiery and even explosive, at other times deeply touching. Julia Riley, Clint van der Linde, Laura Mitchell and Andrew Slater return in their original roles, with Peter Brathwaite and Galina Averina in her company debut, and Jonathan Peter Kenny directing the spitfire brilliance of the Old Street Band.

Revival, sung in English with surtitles
Running time: 2 hours and 45 minutes (including interval)

Interviews, videos and trailers

2016-10-08T19:30:00 2016-11-22T19:30:00
<![CDATA[La Calisto ]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Hackney Empire When Zeus falls in love with a mortal, Calisto, his goddess wife seeks revenge.

® Richard Hubert Smith

Cavalli’s La Calisto irreverently charts the relations between gods, men and women, in a score so rich and heady it must have drawn as many blushes as gasps when first heard.

The infatuation of Jove (George Humphreys) with the lovely Calisto (Paula Sides) and the unlikely attraction of virgin Diana (Catherine Carby) to the handsome youth Endymion (Tai Oney) entangle them in love wars as comical as they are dangerous.

ETO’s new production is conducted and directed by Timothy Nelson, and features Paula Sides in the title role, with a plush collection of continuo instruments.

New production, sung in English

2016-10-14T19:30:00 2016-11-23T19:30:00
<![CDATA[Ulysses’ Homecoming]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Hackney Empire Returning home from the Trojan War after an absence of 20 years, Ulysses has to confront his wife’s suitors, who have taken over his home.

One of the certain masterpieces of Venice’s glory days is Monteverdi’s crowing achievement, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Ulysses’ Homecoming), recounting the delicate interplay between gods and men when, long after the end of the disastrous Trojan war, Ulysses is reunited with his wife Penelope.

James Conway’s new production, designed by Greek designer takis (Ottone, Life on the Moon) will feature Benedict Nelson and Carolyn Dobbin in these central roles, Nick Pritchard as their son Telemachus, and Katie Bray as the feisty goddess Minerva.

New production, sung in English

2016-10-15T19:30:00 2016-11-26T19:30:00
<![CDATA[St John Passion]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Rochester Cathedral Soloists from ETO and the Old Street Band collaborate with local cathedral, gospel and youth choirs to present Bach’s *St John Passion*.

© Robert Workman

‘No praise too high for the continuo support from the Old Street Band: a period-instrument ensemble with an unerring feel for idiom.’


‘The Old Street Band plays like a charm for Jonathan Peter Kenny; a gorgeous reading, flowing and spruce, that never fails to support the singers and favour the drama.’

What’s On Stage

Deeply personal, inspiring and questioning in equal parts, Bach’s St John Passion is a brilliant reflection of that extraordinary gospel and one of the highest points in Western civilisation.

It opens with an impassioned cry to God, written in the plain language of an earnest witness and full of restlessness and desire. Between this opening and the final, magnificent chorus, we are called to face up to some of the most basic questions in life, all in the form of an urgent, unsentimental story.

ETO plans a new kind of performance of this masterpiece, in collaboration with more than thirty choirs around the country and featuring new English translations of the chorales from writers of different faiths and backgrounds.

English translations
Gordon Matthews: O grosse Lieb, O Lieb ohn alle Masse
Maitreyabandhu: Dein Will gescheh, Herr Gott, zugleich
Chibundu Onuzo: Wer hat dich so geschlagen
Tim Yealland: Himmel Reisse / Jesu, deine Passion
Dr John Sentamu: Petrus, der nicht denkt zurück
Canon Dr Giles Fraser: Christus, der uns selig macht
Abigail Morris: Ach grosser König
John McCarthy): Durch dein Gefängnis, Gottes Sohn
The Very Revd Dr Jonathan Draper: In meines Herzens Grunde
A.L. Kennedy: Er nahm alles wohl in acht
Dr Rowan Williams: O hilf, Christe, Gottes Sohn
Marina Warner: Ach Herr, lass dein lieb Engelein

2016-10-16T19:30:00 2016-12-04T19:30:00