Birmingham Opera Company Presents KHOVANSKYGATE: A National Enquiry, April 22

By: Apr. 01, 2014
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Birmingham Opera Company announced today that KHOVANSKYGATE: A National Enquiry will be performed in The Freedom Tent at Cannon Hill, The People's Park Birmingham.

The Freedom Tent, a massive 6-pole 60 x 40m "Big Top", is now being used for rehearsals and Musorgsky's haunting Russian melodies are being heard and enjoyed by the thousands who visit the park every week. A number of park-goers have even joined the production as volunteer performers.

Designed by People's Park movement architect J.T. Gibson (Birkenhead Park, Battersea Park) and gifted to the citizens of Birmingham by Louisa Ryland, Cannon Hill - "The People's Park" - celebrated its 140 year anniversary in 2013.

For the past ten years Cannon Hill Park has successfully achieved Green Flag status, which recognises and rewards the best green spaces in the country.

Following the huge success of their ground-breaking and award-winning production of Stockhausen's Mittwoch Aus Licht in 2012, Birmingham Opera Company present a new production of Musorgsky's KHOVANSKYGATE: A National Enquiry('Khovanshchina'). An Official UK - Russia Year of Culture 2014 Event, KHOVANSKYGATE: A National Enquiry is a powerful political drama about rebellion and revolution, the press night will be on 22 April 2014.

KHOVANSKYGATE: A National Enquiry raises strikingly modern parallels; the story takes place in a Russia divided by powerful conservative forces and growing Westernising influence. Musorgsky paints a devastating portrait of a nation on the brink of collapse; torn apart by state corruption, religious fanaticism, social inequality and ethnic cleansing.

Director Graham Vick was one of the first international directors to be invited behind the Iron Curtain, by Valery Gergiev to direct Prokofiev's War and Peace at the Kirov in 1991. Over 30 years later his current new production of Musorgsky's Boris Godunov can be seen this year at the Mariinsky Theatre. Vick now directs Musorgsky's final opera for the first time and in the UK.

KHOVANSKYGATE: A National Enquiry is performed with Vick's own company, a cast of international soloists, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Children's Chorus and over 200 volunteers from Birmingham.

KHOVANSKYGATE: A National Enquiry will be performed in a new translation by Max Hoehn. It will be designed by Samal Blak. Stuart Stratford will conduct.

Paul Nilon sings The Scribbler, Eric Greene sings Prince Ivan Khovansky, with Keel Watson as Dosifey, Stephanie Corley as Emma and Claudia Huckle as Marfa.

Birmingham Opera Company's triumphant 2012 staging of Stockhausen's Mittwoch aus Licht, often previously thought to be unstageable, received public and critical acclaim. Featuring camels, floating orchestra and a string quartet performing from helicopters, it won the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Opera and Music Theatre and was nominated in the World Premiere category at the inaugural International Opera Awards.

Graham Vick's other recent productions for Birmingham Opera Company include Life is a Dream, Othello, which was broadcast on BBC Television, King Idomeneo, La Traviata and Mozart's He Had It Coming.


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