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Full Program Announced for 2021 Grimeborn Opera Festival

Grimeborn 2021 opens with a new staging of Die Walküre for three performances at Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London E8 1EJ, from Wednesday 4 - Saturday 7 August.

Full Program Announced for 2021 Grimeborn Opera Festival

Arcola Theatre today announced the full programme of productions in the 2021 Grimeborn Opera Festival, which is returning for its 14th year.

Grimeborn 2021 opens with a new staging of Die Walküre for three performances at Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London E8 1EJ, from Wednesday 4 - Saturday 7 August. Following Julia Burbach and Peter Selwyn's thrilling version of Wagner's 'Das Rheingold' in 2019, Arcola is producing the first London performances of Jonathan Dove's acclaimed reduction of
'Die Walküre' since its Birmingham premiere in the 1990s, when it caused a sensation.

It features an exceptional cast of singers, led by Mark Stone, who will be singing Wotan in this country for the first time, Finnur Bjarnason (Siegmund), Natasha Jouhl (Sieglinde), Simon Wilding (Hunding), Harriet Williams (Fricka), Laure Meloy (Brünnhilde), Elizabeth Karani (Helmwige), Bethan Langford (Waltraute), Katie Stevenson (Rossweisse). With 18 live
musicians from the Orpheus Sinfonia. Julia Burbach (Director), Peter Selwyn (Conductor).

The other Grimeborn productions at Arcola Outside are:

25 - 29 August Alcina, Music by George Friedrich Handel

1- 4 September Hopes & Fears, Music by Claude Debussy

5 - 8 September Orfeo ed Euridice / Zanetto, Music by Christoph Willibald Gluck and Pietro Mascagi

11 September The Tango Collective: The Piazzolla Project

Tickets can be booked at

Arcola Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen said: "After a year in which the act of singing has been largely prohibited due to the pandemic, Grimeborn 2021 feels more pertinent and essential than ever, and we are thrilled to be hosting much of the programme in our new and safe outdoor theatre, Arcola Outside. Our partnership with Hackney Empire to present 'Die Walküre' also provides us with an exciting opportunity to bring bold opera to even more audiences in East London."

Ensemble OrQuesta presents


Music by George Friedrich Handel
Text by Riccardo Brosch
Book/Lyrics by Ludovico Ariosto

Direction by Marcio da Silva

From hot-blooded to heart wrenching, Alcina falls from a self-centred reign of terror to the depths of despair.

Returning to Grimeborn for the fourth time, Ensemble OrQuesta's returns with an innovative
interpretation of Handel's compelling opera of desire, power and rage.

Helen May (OFFIE nominee) leads a talented cast as the dangerous seductress in a production which delves into sexual harassment, sexual fluidity, addiction and toxic behaviour.

25 August - 29 August

The Opera Makers presents

Hopes & Fears

Music by Claude Debussy
Text by Becca Marriott
Direction by Jorge Balça

A mother waits for her son, fearing she may die before ever seeing him again.
Two young lovers struggle to find the words to say goodbye.

'Hopes & Fears' tells the story of two very different women living with cancer. Created with Shine Cancer Support UK, this compelling new opera is punctuated by the voices of people whose lives have been turned upside down by a cancer diagnosis.

Based on the beautiful and haunting music of Claude Debussy, with a new libretto by Olivier Award nominated opera maker, Becca Marriott; and arranged by award-winning pianist and musical director, Panaratos Kyriatzidis.

1 September - 4 September

Barefoot Opera presents
Orfeo ed Euridice / Zanetto
Music by Christoph Willibald Gluck and Pietro Mascagni
Musical direction by Lesley Anne Sammons
Direction by Lysanne van Overbeek

What would you do for love?

Barefoot Opera presents a unique double bill, combining a well-loved favourite with an operatic rarity that share a commonality: the search for love and inspiration in a dangerous world.

Gluck's famous Orfeo ed Euridice retells the classic Greek tale of love and loss. Orfeo embarks on a dangerous journey into the underworld to find and return his one true love Euridice. Extraordinary obstacles are overcome, but it will take only one to keep them apart: Orfeo himself.

In Mascagni's Zanetto, we encounter Silvia, a rich and beautiful courtesan, loved by many and desperate to find someone she can love in return. However, she quickly discovers that you must be careful what you wish for, when she falls for the youthful and wandering poet, Zanetto.

5 September - 8 September

The Wild Stage presents

The Tango Collective: The Piazzolla Project

For one night at Grimeborn, The Wild Stage presents a night of music not to dance to, but to inspire, make us dream and take us to faraway places full of longing and passion.

Classical music, tango and cabaret. From Kurt Weill to Schoenberg, from Carlos Gardel to Britten, these musical genres have always found ways to meet.

To celebrate the music of tango composer, Astor Piazzolla in the year that would have seen his 100th birthday, William Ludwig and Dean Austin, the "cabaret kings" (The Londonist) join forces with two of London's most exciting classical musicians.

The figurehead of new tango - music of the cities, their poetry and chaos, their solitude and excitement - Piazzola ripped the music from the dance halls of Argentina, placing it in the concert halls of the world.

Saturday 11 September at 8.30pm

Grimeborn at Hackney Empire

Hackney Empire
291 Mare St,
E8 1EJ

Arcola Theatre presents


by Richard Wagner, Adapted by Jonathan Dove

Directed by Julia Burbach
Musical Direction by Peter Selwyn

Wednesday 4 August at 7pm
no performance Thursday 5
Friday 6 August at 7pm
Saturday 7 August at 7pm

Best £60 (£55 concessions)
Standard £50 (£45 concessions)
Value £30 (£25 concessions)
Restricted View £15

Running time: 2 hours 45mins
Age guidance 12+

To book:
Box Office 020 8985 2424


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