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English National Opera - Coliseum (London) preview


Preview: Jack Foley

ENGLISH National Opera is presenting an exciting line-up during its new season, from May 2005 until the end of the year.

Here, IndieLondon picks out the best of what's on offer, while providing the opportunity to buy tickets to each performance.

Jephtha
Critically-lauded British director Katie Mitchell makes her ENO debut with a deeply moving realisation of Handel's last oratorio. In this magnificent staging of the composer's masterpiece, personal, political and theological themes merge convincingly in a universal drama of gripping immediacy.
Jephtha is the warrior who makes a pact with God; in return for a victorious return fom war, he promises to sacrifice the first person he sees. Fate decrees that he must murder his daughter Iphis, leaving Jephtha to struggle with the desperate consequences of his bargain. Passionate performances are given by some of the country's most applauded artists, including Mark Padmore and Susan Bickley. Conductor Nicholas Kraemer is another powerful presence in this astonishing production that is heart-rending from first to last.
9 performances only. From £8
May 12 at 7pm | May 14 at 6pm | May 18 | 20 | 25 | 25 | June 3 | 7 | 9 | 15 at 7pm

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Cosi Fan Tutte
Thoughtful, dreamy and memorable, Matthew Warchus's production is a tempting mix of ravishing music, immaculate ensembles and sepia-tinted sets. Deftly handling the paradoxes within Mozart's popular comic opera, this hugely imaginative staging provokes its audience to reflect on love and fidelity. Two men bet on the loyalty of the sisters to whom they are engaged after being challenged by the cynic Don Alfonso. Disguised, the men's attempts to seduce each other's fiancee end in heartbreak and, eventually, forgiveness.
Vibrant vocal performances are delivered by four outstanding young leads, including the charismatic tenor Gregory Turay, who makes his ENO debut, while the accomplished Lillian Watson and Robert Poulton enjoy welcome returns. Mozart's wonderful score is brought to life by the conducting talent of Edward Gardner, in another exciting company debut.
10 performances only. From £8 (May 26 | June 2 | 4 | 8 at 7pm | June 11 at 6pm | June 13 | 16 at 7pm | June 18 at 6pm | June 21 | 24 at 7pm
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Eugene Onegin (pictured)
Celebrated baritone Gerald Finley makes his role debut as the sauve, brooding Onegin in Julia Hollander's poetic staging of Tchaikovsky's most famous opera. Sweeping melodies and wistfully passionate arias provide the backdrop to this story of thwarted love, duelling rivals and twisted romance, stunningly portrayed in this vintage revival.
The stark divide betweeen country and courtly life in 19th century Russia is illustrated by the dramatic transformation of Tatyana, whose rejection by Onegin sets the scene for this emotive journey. Catrin Wyn-Davies and Peter Rose join Finley in this star line-up, while Jonathan Darlingotn - in his first ENO appearance - conducts Tchaikovsky's powerfully romantic score in this mesmerising production of timeless appeal.
6 performances only. From £8
June 10 | 14 | 17 | 20 | 22 at 7pm | June 25 at 6pm

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Shadowtime
In recognition of the British composer's prolific contribution to contemporary classical music, ENO presents an exclusive UK concert performance of Shadowtime. Two leading European ensembles - Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and Nieuw Ensemble Amsterdam - are joined at the London Coliseum by accomplished conductor Jurjen Hempel for a remarkable evening of music.
Recognised internationally as one of the most important composers of our time, Brian Ferneyhough breaks operatic convention with Shadowtime, an intriguing music-theatre piece comprising seven scenes. The British composer's first operatic work - premiered at the Munich Biennale in May 2004 - is based on the life of the great writer and philosopher, Walter Benjamin. A beautiful 'opera of thoughts', it transcends boundaries, combining intricate musical layering with passionate expression and poetic allusions.
Season closing concert. 1 Performance only
From £5
July 9 at 8pm
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The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
Directed by Richard Jones and composed by Gerald Barry, Fassbinder's extraordinary take on female love opens a landmark season for ENO. With Kathryn Harries and Susan Bickley.
7 performances only.
September 16 | 20 | 23 | 29 | October 1 | 4 | 7

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The Magic Flute
ENO's Mozart classic returns - 'an all-time ENO hit'(The Times)- originally directed by Nicholas Hytner. With Toby Spence, Andrew Shore and Janice Watson.
11 performances only.
September 19 | 21 | 24 | 28 | 30 | October 6 | 8 | 12 | 14 | 17 | 21

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The Carmelites
Poulenc's tale of faith and courage returns with Phyllida Lloyd's beautiful co-production with Welsh National Opera featuring Felicity Palmer and Dame Josephine Barstow.
8 performances only.
October 5 | 13 | 15 | 18 | 22 | 27 | 29 | November 3

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Salome
The centenary of Richard Strauss' first international hit and a welcome return for one of ENO's most successful productions features Cheryl Barker and Sally Burgess.
7 performances only.
October 19 | 28 | November 2 | 4 | 10 | 12 | 17
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Madam Butterfly
Anthony Minghella directs his opera debut with Puccini's most romantic work starring Mary Plazas, Gwyn Hughes Jones and Jean Rigby.
13 performances only.
November 5 | 9 | 11 | 15 | 18 | 23 | 25 | 30 | December 2 | 7 | 9 | 13 | 16
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Xerxes
National Theatre Director Nicholas Hytner's Olivier Award-winning production of Handel's classic. Katarina Karneus makes her UK Handel debut.
7 performances only.
November 16 | 19 | 24 | 26 | December 1 | 6 | 15

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Billy Budd
Britten's masterpiece in a major new production from WNO featuring Simon Keenlyside, John Tomlinson and Timothy Robinson.
7 performances only.
December 3 | 5 | 8 | 10 | 12 | 14 | 17
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