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Gilliam & McBurney Make Opera Debuts at ENO

English National Opera’s 2010/11 season includes operatic debuts for eight directors from other disciplines, including ex-Python and Hollywood maverick Terry Gilliam and theatre directors Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), Simon McBurney (Complicite) and Rufus Norris (Festen).

The season opens in September with a new production (a co-production with New York’s Met) of Gounod’s Faust (18 September-16 October 2010), directed by Tony Award-winner Des McAnuff, conducted by Edward Gardner and starring Toby Spence in the title role and Iain Paterson as Mephistophiles.

Christopher Alden’s acclaimed The Makropulos Case (20 September-5 October 2010), one of only four revivals, returns with Amanda Roocroft and Andrew Shore, and Richard Armstrong conducting. Alden also has a new production, with Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream towards the end of the season (May 2011).

David Alden (Christopher's brother) also brings a new production, with his Santa Fe Radamisto (7 October-4 November 2010), conducted by the Handel specialist Laurence Cummings with a cast including counter-tenor Lawrence Zazzo and mezzo Christine Rice.

Jonathan Miller’s La bohème (18 October-27 January) is then revived with Gwyn Hughes Jones alternating Rodolfo with Alfie Boe.

Rufus Norris directs a new Don Giovanni from 6 November to 3 December 2010 with Iain Paterson singing the don, Rebecca Evans as Elvira and Katherine Broderick as Anna. Ukranian Kirill Karabits conducts.

Alexander Raskatov’s A Dog’s Heart (20 November-4 December 2010), based on the Bulgakov novel, premieres on the main stage in November. It’s directed by Complicite's Simon McBurney and according to press material will include puppetry by Blind Summit Theatre Company (who previously worked on Anthony Minghella's ENO Madam Butterfly).

The other new opera comes at the end of the season (June 2011), a new commission, shared by London and New York, with the young composer Nico Mulhy setting a libretto by Craig Lucas. It will have an 'internet theme' (with a story drawn from real life) and will be directed by Bartlett Sher.

Mike Figgis’ contribution is a new production of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia, receives its first ENO staging in January 2011, with Paul Daniel conducting Claire Rutter, Michael Fabiano and Alastair Miles.

Nicholas Lehnhoff’s Parsifal, last seen a decade ago, returns in February with a cast featuring: Stuart Skelton as Parsifal, John Tomlinson as Gurnemanz, Iain Paterson as Amfortas and Irene Theorin as Kundry. Mark Wigglesworth, following his recently acclaimed Katya Kabanova, conducts.

A Young Vic collaboration on Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses premieres on 24 March 2011 for eight performances, directed by Australian Benedict Andrews.

It's followed by the Terry Gilliam-directed production of Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust, which opens on 6 May 2011 for ten performances. Gilliam, best known for his work with Monty Python and for directing films including Brazil, marks his operatic debut with the production, which is designed by German Hildegard Bechler with costumes by Katrina Lindsay.

The final new production is Simon Boccanegra conducted by Gardner and directed by Russian Dmitri Tcherniakov. Bruno Caproni sings the title role and Brindley Sherratt, who describes the opportunity as “being handed the keys of a Ferrari,” is Fiesco.

Full details of ENO’s 2010/11 season can be found at www.eno.org


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