Autumn 2010

English Touring Opera will produce and tour two operas setting texts by famous playwrights: Promised End (a setting of Shakespear’s King Lear edited by Frank Kermode with music by Alexander Goehr), a new opera, and The Duenna, an 18th century opera with a text by Irish playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan (author of The School for Scandal and The Rivals) that was probably the most popular and profitable opera ever produced in England.

King Lear is the greatest of ‘family’ dramas, in which a king mistakes the fine words of two of his daughters for love and respect, and mistakes the plainspoken, loving words of his third daughter for contempt. At the same time his vassal the Earl of Gloucester makes a similar misjudgement of his sons. The terrible disappointment and suffering that ensues takes these two old men to the naked edge of their endurance, and causes them to pose stark questions about justice, love, and bare humanity.

Alexander Goehr is a composer of international renown. His operas have been performed all over the world after premieres in places like the Royal Opera House, the Hamburg Opera, and [see note]. Frank Kermode is one of the greatest living Shakespearean scholars, and a distinguished writer and critic in his own right.

Click here to hear some of Goehr’s music.

The Duenna is an utterly contrasting work, full of sparkling wit and musical charm. It too is concerned with fathers who are deceived in their daughters, but in this case our sympathies are all with the daughters, who are seeking to marry men of their own choice. Knowing that Sheridan eloped with the beautiful Elizabeth Linley against the will of her father (one of the composers of The Duenna), and that he never entirely abandoned the rakish behaviour his father-in-law so dreaded, makes this operatic double elopement a particularly savoury dish. Tuneful, sabre-tongued, light-hearted and irreverent, The Duenna is the jewel of Georgian England, almost forgotten now.

October 2010
Fri 1 7.30pm The Duenna Lighthouse, Poole Box office: 01202 280000 Booking Closed
Sat 2 7.30pm The Duenna Lighthouse, Poole Box office: 01202 280000 Booking Closed
Sat 9 7.45pm Promised End Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, London Box office: 020 7304 4000 Booking Closed
Mon 11 7.45pm Promised End Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, London Box office: 020 7304 4000 Booking Closed
Wed 13 7.00pm The Duenna Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, London Box office: 020 7304 4000 Booking Closed
Thu 14 7.45pm Promised End Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, London Box office: 020 7304 4000 Booking Closed
Fri 15 7.00pm The Duenna Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, London Box office: 020 7304 4000 Booking Closed
Sat 16 1.00pm The Duenna Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, London Box office: 020 7304 4000 Booking Closed
Sat 16 7.45pm Promised End Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, London Box office: 020 7304 4000 Booking Closed
Mon 18 7.30pm The Duenna Theatre Royal Bath Box office: 01225 448844 Booking Closed
Tue 19 7.30pm The Duenna Theatre Royal Bath Box office: 01225 448844 Booking Closed
Thu 21 7.30pm Promised End Malvern Theatres Box office: 01684 892277 Booking Closed
Fri 22 7.30pm The Duenna Malvern Theatres Box office: 01684 892277 Booking Closed
Tue 26 7.30pm Promised End De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill Box office: 01424 229 111 Booking Closed
Wed 27 7.30pm The Duenna De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill Box office: 01424 229 111 Booking Closed
Fri 29 7.30pm Promised End Exeter Northcott Theatre Box office: 01392 72 63 63 Booking Closed
Sat 30 7.30pm The Duenna Exeter Northcott Theatre Box office: 01392 72 63 63 Booking Closed
November 2010
Mon 1 7.30pm Promised End The Hawth, Crawley Box office: 01293 553636 Booking Closed
Wed 3 7.30pm Promised End Cambridge Arts Theatre Box office: 01223 503 333 Booking Closed
Thu 4 7.30pm The Duenna Cambridge Arts Theatre Box office: 01223 503 333 Booking Closed
Fri 5 7.30pm The Duenna Cambridge Arts Theatre Box office: 01223 503 333 Booking Closed
Sat 6 7.30pm Promised End Cambridge Arts Theatre Box office: 01223 503 333 Booking Closed
Mon 8 7.30pm The Duenna Harrogate Theatre Box office: 01423 502 116 Booking Closed
Fri 26 7.30pm Promised End Snape Maltings Concert Hall Box office: 01728 687 110 Booking Closed
Sat 27 7.30pm The Duenna Snape Maltings Concert Hall Box office: 01728 687 110 Booking Closed
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