David McVicar returns to English National Opera to direct a new production of Medea by Charpentier, starring Sarah Connolly in the title role.
Opening Friday 15 February, 7.00pm (9 performances)
Following critically-acclaimed productions of Agrippina, La clemenza di Tito and Der Rosenkavalier, Sir David McVicar returns to English National Opera to direct a new production of Charpentier’s rarely-performed operatic gem, Medea. McVicar is one of the world’s most in-demand opera directors and recently received a knighthood in the Queen’s Jubilee birthday honours. McVicar’s new production of Medea follows on from the success of ENO’s 2011 production of Rameau’s Castor and Pollux which was awarded an Olivier Award.
Playing the barbarian sorceress Medea is internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly. Connolly’s association with David McVicar stretches back to ENO’s 2006 production of La clemenza di Tito, where she played the role of Sesto, for which she won an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. More recently, Connolly has performed in McVicar productions of Agrippina and as Octavian in Der Rosenkavelier, “[Connolly]…could hardly be better” (Daily Telegraph). Connolly has been nominated for a TMA Award, two Grammy Awards and won an Edison, Gramophone and South Bank Award.
Teaming up with McVicar is celebrated designer Bunny Christie, making her ENO debut. ENO’s new production of Medea relocates the famous Greek tragedy to the 1940s, setting it against a decadent, hyper-stylised 1940s backdrop which McVicar describes as “styled to within an inch of its life”. Set designer Bunny Christie has worked extensively for the National Theatre, most notably winning Olivier Awards for her work on A Streetcar named Desire and The White Guard and an Evening Standard Award for Baby Doll. Christie’s opera work includes Brief Encounter and Tosca for Houston Grand Opera. Medea marks Christie’s debut at a British opera house.
Leading the ENO Orchestra is period performance specialist Christian Curnyn. Curnyn’s recent appearances at ENO include Julius Caesar where he was praised for his “superb direction” (The Times) and Castor and Pollux “[Curnyn]…relished every moment of the score” (The Guardian).
Completing the creative team is choreographer Lynne Page and lighting designer Paule Constable. Page’s choreographic career includes works for stage, opera, film and television with artists as diverse as Kanye West, Stephen Sondheim and Lady Gaga. In 2010, Page won a What’s on Stage award for her choreography in the West End production of La Cage aux Folles. Multi-award winning lighting designer Paule Constable has worked with McVicar in productions of Der Rosenkavalier and La clemenza di Tito and won Olivier Awards in 2005, 2006 and 2009 and Tony Awards in 2007 and 2011.
Connolly is joined by a stellar British cast, including Jeffrey Francis (Jason), Katherine Manley (Creuse), Roderick Williams (Orontes), Brindley Sherratt (Creon), Olivier Dunn (Arcas), Sophie Junker (Italian Woman) and ENO Harewood Artists Rhian Lois (Nerine) and Aoife O’Sullivan (Cleone).
Medea opens at the London Coliseum on 15 February for 9 performances – February 15, 20, 22, 28 and March 6, 8, 12, 14 at 7.30pm and March 16 at 3.00pm
Pre-performance talk, Wednesday 20 February, 5 – 5.45pm, £5/£2.50 concs
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