English Touring Opera - Upcoming events http://englishtouringopera.org.uk/productions/rss/ Upcoming events at Warwick Arts Centre en-gb <![CDATA[The Magic Flute]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury A revival of Liam Steel’s critically-acclaimed and much loved 2009 production of Mozart's final masterpiece.

© Robert Workman

“Conceptually deft, musically satisfying and consistently entertaining … ETO’s Magic Flute is a winner.” WhatsOnStage
ETO’s Magic Flute outshines its more expensive and overblown rivals” ★★★★ Telegraph
“Brings a zing to Mozart’s well-loved score”
★★★★ Sunday Express

The Magic Flute has enchanted music and theatre lovers of all ages for hundreds of years. With charm and wit, it tells the story of a terrifying and joyful journey in pursuit of love, wisdom and happiness. From the stratospheric arias of the Queen of the Night, through the jolly folk tunes of Papageno the Birdcatcher, to the profound music of Sarastro, leader of the enlightened ones, it is a full expression of Mozart’s musical and dramatic genius. ETO is delighted to be reviving Liam Steel’s 2009 production of Mozart’s final masterpiece.

Revival, sung in English
Touring with a live orchestra
Running time: 2 hours 35 minutes (including interval)
This production contains haze effects

Cast list

Use our online tool to find the casting for all spring season performances of The Magic Flute: click here.

Music playlist

2014-03-07T19:30:00 2014-05-31T19:30:00
<![CDATA[Borka the Goose with No Feathers]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Strood Library, Rochester A new opera based on the classic children's book by John Burningham (published by Jonathan Cape).

© Robert Workman

Borka is one of the most well-known and loved of all children’s books. Written by John Burningham in 1963, this new opera for children aged 3–7 celebrates the book’s 50th anniversary. Music, design, acting and puppetry tell the story of the goose with no feathers who tries to learn to fly and to swim, is abandoned by her friends, and is finally rescued and taken by boat to Kew Gardens. The story is about being different, and about how that is not such a bad thing.

It was fantastic! What a lovely way to introduce opera to young children. They loved it! The show was pitched very well for young children and most of them were able to understand the concept of accepting each other for what and how we are. I think they will be much more excited to hear music from different genres and will be willing to explore using singing and movement in their own role-play.

Teacher, Queensbridge Primary School

The opera lasts just under an hour, and is performed by 8 artists, including players, singers and puppeteers. The magical design keeps to the spirit of John Burningham’s paintings, and brings the haunting world of the book to life on stage. The piece includes interaction with the audience, and participatory songs. Borka is suitable for small theatre venues and for school halls. The music is by Russell Hepplewhite, the new lyrics and direction are by Tim Yealland, and the design is by Jude Munden. There is also a pack available for schools.

ETO won the PRS David Bedford Award for this strand of work in 2012, and Borka continues a long line of such operas for children, including, in the last two years, In the Belly of the Horse, The Feathered Ogre, Spin and Laika the Spacedog.

Borka is available from the beginning of March until the end of May 2014, and tours to all of ETO’s touring venues in Spring 2014. For schools in London, we are delighted to be able to host four special performances at Kew Gardens on 20-21 March, so children can enjoy the opera as part of a day out in the botanical gardens and see if they can spot Borka and her friends!

To book Borka, or for more information, please contact talia.lash@englishtouringopera.org.uk or 020 7833 2555.

Supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund

We are grateful to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, for their input into this production.

“Borka” is based on Borka: The Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers by John Burningham, published by Jonathan Cape.

2014-03-05T00:00:00 2014-03-05T00:00:00
<![CDATA[King Priam]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury First performed at the festival marking the reconsecration of Coventry Cathedral in 1962, Michael Tippett's opera is a magnificent evocation of a father's radical choices and their consequences in time of war.

© Richard Hubert Smith, www.richardhs.com

“Utterly compelling” ★★★★ Guardian
“Catch it if you can” ★★★★ WhatsOnStage
“I found myself thinking about this opera for days afterwards” ★★★★ Bachtrack
“An exceptional achievement” The Stage
“An ensemble performance of rare conviction” Independent

First performed at the festival marking the reconsecration of Coventry Cathedral in 1962 (following its bombing in WW2), Michael Tippett’s King Priam is a stirring account of fundamental choices and their consequences in wartime.
Tippett’s music is breathtaking, his text precise and moving: this is one of the most impressive operas of the 20th century, and ETO’s most ambitious project to date. This evocation of the last days of Troy, told from the perspective of the aging king, is a powerful meditation on fatherhood and on the futility of war. The female characters (Hecuba, Andromache and Helen) are mighty presences, double cast as goddesses, alongside the heroes Hector, Achilles and Paris. This is British opera at its most eloquent and powerful.

New production, sung in English
Touring with a live orchestra
Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (including interval)

You can get closer to our new production of King Priam and learn more about twentieth century opera by joining our King Priam Production Syndicate. To find out more, please click here


Courtesy of BBC Radio 3 In Tune. All rights reserved.

Music playlist

Face the choice of Paris

In King Priam (as in Greek myth), Zeus forces Paris to choose between the goddesses Hera, Athene and Aphrodite in the ultimate beauty contest of the ancient world. His choice has consequences – but, if you were in Paris’ position, which goddess would you choose?

Further reading

Meirion Bowen was artistic and personal manager to Michael Tippett from 1978 until the composer’s death in 1998, and has written many books and articles on Tippett’s life and work. Bowen’s essay ‘King Priam: Genesis, Achievement and Interpretation’ provides an excellent introduction to the opera, and can be found on his website here.

2014-02-13T19:30:00 2014-05-27T19:30:00
<![CDATA[Rumbled]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Hall School, Norwich A new interactive opera for children with severe learning difficulties based on a famous German fairy tale.

© Thousand Word Media

Rumbled is the latest in a series of operas written for children with severe learning difficulties, and follows Spin in 2013 and RedBlueGreen in 2012. Rumbled features new music by composer John Barber and a story by Hazel Gould. The piece is based loosely on Rumplestiltskin, the famous fairy tale. It is extremely interactive, and is appropriate for students with little or no speech.

The response was fantastic – everyone loved it. Some of the students were absolutely mesmerised so thank you!

Teacher, Victoria Education Centre, Poole

The King has become very demanding, and threatens the girl if she doesn’t spin straw first into gold, then into a rainbow, and then into the moon and stars. Her only chance is Rumplestiltskin, a strange creature who helps with his magic powers, and who starts to get pretty demanding himself. Is there a way out for the girl?

The piece is performed by four wonderful ETO artists, including two singers, and a cellist and clarinettist, as well as some percussion. The design is by Ruth Paton and Tim Yealland directs. The show lasts just under an hour, and is continuously interactive and multi-sensory.

In the summer Rumbled travels to Luxembourg for our annual residency in the Philharmonie.

If you would more information or would like to book a performance of Rumbled for your school, please contact Talia Lash, English Touring Opera Outreach: 0207 8332555, talia.lash@englishtouringopera.org.uk.

Supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund

2014-03-07T00:00:00 2014-03-07T00:00:00
<![CDATA[Paul Bunyan]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Norwich Theatre Royal Britten's operetta about the folkloric American lumberjack is a musical rollercoaster ride, incorporating folk songs, blues and hymns.

© Richard Hubert Smith, www.richardhs.com

“Flawless from start to finish” ★★★★★ Independent
“It could give any Broadway hit
a run for its money” ★★★★ Telegraph
★★★★ Guardian
★★★★ The Arts Desk

Paul Bunyan is probably Britten’s least performed opera, even though it is a remarkable collaboration with the poet W.H. Auden.
Musically charming, dreamlike, as surprising and innocent as a Chagall painting, this cross between an opera and a musical re-creates the great myth of the American frontier – peopled by a giant, an accountant, singing geese and cats, lumberjacks, and good and bad cooks.

New production, sung in English
Touring with a live orchestra
Running time: 2 hours 14 minutes (including interval)


Slim’s Song
Lumberjacks’ Chorus
Blues Quartet

Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Damian Lewis gives his voice to Paul Bunyan’s title character. Click to play.

2014-02-17T19:30:00 2014-05-28T19:30:00
<![CDATA[Literary Recitals]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Warwick Arts Centre English Touring Opera presents a programme of recitals exploring the links between music and literature.

English Touring Opera’s soloists Caryl Hughes, Clarissa Meek and Johnny Herford, accompanied by ETO’s assistant conductor Harry Ogg, bring to life the works of poets Emily Dickinson and Friedrich Rückert, and of writer Virginia Woolf, in this recital series touring alongside the spring 2014 main stage productions.

Famous for his unique blend of jazz harmonies and folk tunes, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Copland (Of Mice and Men, Appalachian Spring) interprets Dickinson’s words in his song cycle Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson (touring to Cheltenham, Warwick and Exeter).

These songs for voice and piano (sung by soprano Caryl Hughes) echo the poet’s concise yet lyric language and include some of her most famous poems, such as ‘Heart, We Will Forget Him!’ and ‘The Chariot’.

In Cambridge, baritone Johnny Herford sings settings of poetry by the German Romantic writer Friedrich Rückert, including Schubert’s ‘Du bist die Ruh’ and Mahler’s ‘Rückert-Lieder’. Mezzo-soprano Clarissa Meek sings Dominick Argento’s song-cycle From the Diary of Virginia Woolf – a beautiful settting of poignant passages in the journal of the great English novelist and essayist, premiered in 1976 by Dame Janet Baker.

2014-05-08T00:00:00 2014-05-08T00:00:00
<![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.

Feedback from our most recent workshops in May 2013

“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.”

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

Seven years of collaboration!

2014 marks the seventh 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 Talia Lash 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[Skyriders]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - John Chilton School, Ealing In this third major project with John Chilton Special School, over 40 students will produce a new opera and film based on a schoolchild’s successful attempt to fly to Rome without a ticket or passport.

Skyriders is a new project devised in partnership with John Chilton Special School in Ealing, involving about 50 students in a series of workshops to produce a new opera and film about a child’s solo flight to Rome.

The story is based on events in the summer of 2012, when Liam Corcoran, an 11-year-old from Manchester, managed to evade security and sneak past police and Manchester Airport authorities to get onto a flight to Rome. At the time, an investigation was launched over the incident, which prompted concerns from the highest levels of government.

The film was premiered on 25th June 2013 as part of a performance including live music and drama. Most of the children in the school were involved in the production of the animation itself, both as filmmakers and animators and also as actors. The film includes the use of green screen filming techniques, to enable the students to fly against their own magical backgrounds. There will be further screenings next year.

The film project was delivered by filmmaker and designer Babis Alexiadis and filmmaker Sima Gonsai. The music theatre part of the project was led by composer Rachel Leach, who also wrote the music for the film, and director Tim Yealland. They were joined by flautist Emma Halnan and double bassist Eloise Riddell, who also play on the soundtrack of the film, and come via the Royal Academy of Music.

This is ETO’s third major project at John Chilton School in three years, following the success of Thief in the Night in June 2012, an opera about a beautiful stork, and Random Numbers in 2011, about a lost and found lottery ticket.

These projects have been made possible by the generous funding of John Lyon’s Charity. Thanks also to Aidan Meech and the wonderful and dedicated staff of John Chilton School.

2013-06-25T00:00:00 2013-06-25T00:00:00
<![CDATA[Turtle Song]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Royal College of Music An opportunity for people with Alzheimer's or dementia to sing and compose their own songs with professional musicians. The project is a collaboration with Turtle Key Arts and the Royal College of Music.

Turtle Song, our well-known project for dementia sufferers and their carers, continues and flourishes this spring with another project in partnership with Turtle Key Arts and the Royal College of Music. This long-term partnership is now in its 7th year.

Turtle Song aims to bring music, movement and singing to people with Alzheimer’s and all forms of dementia and their carers. Over the course of the project the participants write the lyrics and compose the music for their own song cycle. The piece is then recorded on CD and shared with friends in the main concert hall of the Royal College of Music (RCM).

Music students from the RCM support the professional team of composer Danyal Dondhy and director Alice Knight. Sessions begin on Tuesday 18 February and run on Tuesday mornings until the performance on Wednesday 16 April. The weekly sessions are in the RCM hall of residence in Goldhawk Road in West London and are from 10.30-12.30. Tea and biscuits and a warm welcome are provided. The sessions include a gentle physical warm-up, followed by a fun and creative process of creating new stories, lyrics and songs.

The project is designed for people at every stage of dementia, and for their partners or carers. If you live in West London and have transport issues, arrangements can be made – whenever possible – to assist your journey to and from the workshops.

If you, or a friend or partner, are interested in taking part in the project please contact Charlotte Cunningham at Turtle Key Arts on 020 8964 5060, charlotte@turtlekeyarts.org.uk or Tim Yealland at English Touring Opera on 020 7833 2555, tim.yealland@englishtouringopera.org.uk.

If you would like to attend the performance on Wednesday 16 April at 11.30 please contact either of the above contacts.

0000-00-00T00:00:00 0000-00-00T00:00:00
<![CDATA[Life on the Moon]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Hackney Empire To trick an old miser, his daughter and her suitor convince him that he has flown to the moon – a topsy-turvy world in their control. This is Haydn at his best, with virtuoso arias and exhilarating ensembles.

Haydn’s Life on the Moon (Il mondo della luna) is a fast-moving operatic treatment of Goldoni’s classic play.

Larger-than-life characters, virtuosic playing and singing, and a witty new translation promise an evening of comedy to follow on the company’s well received 2007 production of Country Matters.

In this opera the action is transferred to the moon when a young heiress and her maid team up to teach their miserly father/master a lesson in conduct. The score includes some of Haydn’s finest vocal writing, including two wonderful, spirited, extended finales which anticipate Mozart and Beethoven.

Venues to be announced include: Exeter and Cambridge. To receive further information and updated, please sign up to our mailing list.

You can get closer to our new production of Life on the Moon and learn more about eighteenth century opera by joining our House of Habsburg Production Syndicate. To find out more, please click here

Music playlist

2014-10-17T19:30:00 2014-11-14T19:30:00
<![CDATA[Ottone]]> English Touring Opera English Touring Opera - Hackney Empire One of Handel's finest tragedies, Ottone is a romantic account of a 10th-century German emperor and his Byzantine bride.

Returning to that area of repertoire for which we have found such an enthusiastic audience – and critical acclaim – this season we are presenting one of Handel’s finest tragedies, taken from the decade that marked the highest achievement in opera in Britain.

Ottone, a rarely performed masterpiece, describes a bloody coup and the arrival of a Byzantine bride around the year 1000AD. The opera has a treasure trove of fantastic arias – a number of which are regularly performed in concert. One deceptively simple aria, ‘Falsa immagine’, was at first scorned by the great Italian soprano Francesca Cuzzoni – and it is reported that Handel convinced her of its genius as he leaned her out of a high window!

A chance to see the full opera in ETO’s characteristic style will be a treat for opera fans old and new.

Venues to be announced include: Exeter and Cambridge. To receive further information and updated, please sign up to our mailing list.

You can get closer to our new production of Ottone and learn more about eighteenth century opera by joining our House of Hanover Production Syndicate. To find out more, please click here

Music playlist

2014-10-18T19:30:00 2014-11-15T19:30:00