Opera Holland Park Reveals Casts For 2020 Season Of Firsts
Tchaikovsky's perfect tragedy of first love, Eugene Onegin, opens the season, with Anush Hovhannisyan as Tatyana. Critically acclaimed for her role as Violetta in La traviata for Scottish Opera in 2017, and nominated in the 2018 International Opera Awards, she makes her OHP debut. Also appearing at OHP for the first time is the Australian baritone Samuel Dale Johnson as Onegin. British lyric soprano Amanda Roocroft makes her role debut as Madame Larina, having performed the role of Tatyana to great acclaim internationally. Fresh from success at Opera North and the Royal Opera, Nicky Spence returns to OHP as Lensky. Emma Stannard sings the role of Tatyana's sister Olga, with Kathleen Wilkinson as their nurse, Filippyevna.
A finalist in the Newcomer category of the 2019 International Opera Awards, and winner of the 2019 Off West End Award for Best Opera Production, director Julia Burbach makes her OHP debut with Eugene Onegin. The designer takis returns to OHP for the first of three productions in the 2020 Season. His previous productions at OHP include 2019's Un ballo in maschera. Familiar to OHP audiences for his work in repertoire from Mozart to Cilea, Dane Lam conducts. Mark Jonathan, winner of the 2019 Knight of Illumination Award for lighting in opera, is the lighting designer.
The 2020 Young Artists Performance will be Eugene Onegin, a work originally composed for students at the Moscow Conservatory. The conductor is Lada Valesova and the director is Rebecca Meltzer. The Young Artist cast will be announced at the start of next year.
Verdi's Rigoletto opens on 6 June, with Stephen Gadd in the title role and Anna Patalong as Gilda, Rigoletto's daughter. Italian tenor Matteo Desole, who made his OHP debut as Alfredo in 2018's La traviata, returns in the role of the Duke of Mantua. Hannah Pedley sings Maddalena. Former Young Artists Blaise Malaba and Georgia Mae Bishop sing the roles of Sparafucile and Giovanna. Yolanda Grant-Thompson, the first recipient of OHP's Laura Monaghan Bursary, is the Page.
Matthew Kofi Waldren returns to conduct his third Verdi opera in three consecutive OHP seasons, following outstanding reviews for La traviata and Un ballo in maschera in 2018 and 2019. British director Natascha Metherell, fast acquiring a reputation internationally for her work at the Royal Danish Opera and the Liceu, Barcelona, makes her OHP debut. Alyson Cummins, praised for her designs for OHP's L'arlesiana and Così fan tutte, is the designer. The lighting designer Rory Beaton also returns.
The third production of the 2020 Season is Lehár's romantic comedy, The Merry Widow, sung in the English translation by Kit Hesketh-Harvey with Giles Havergal. The lead couple of Hanna Glawari and Count Danilo will be sung by Julia Sporsén and Alex Otterburn, last seen at OHP in Ariadne auf Naxos (2018). Alison Langer, singing Valencienne, and Stephen Aviss, singing Camille, performed together at OHP in 2017's La traviata. Both are former OHP Young Artists. John Savournin, last seen at OHP in Il segreto di Susanna in 2019, will sing Baron Zeta.
Christopher Luscombe, an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, makes his OHP debut as director of The Merry Widow. John Andrews is the conductor, Simon Higlett the designer, Mark Jonathan the lighting designer and Ewan Jones the choreographer.
Generously supported by the Delius Trust, Margot la Rouge, Delius's only verismo opera, receives its first major UK staging. The two-act version of Puccini's Le Villi completes a double bill on the theme of lost love and corrupted innocence. Martin Lloyd-Evans (director), takis (designer), Francesco Cilluffo (conductor) and Jake Wiltshire (lighting designer) form the creative team for both works.
French soprano Anne Sophie Duprels sings the roles of Delius's Margot and Puccini's Anna. Peter Auty and Stephen Gadd return to OHP as Roberto and Guglielmo in Le Villi. In Margot la Rouge, Paul Carey Jones will sing The Artist. Samuel Sakker and Nadine Benjamin return to OHP as Sergeant Thibault and Lili Béguin, joined by George von Bergen, Laura Woods and Jack Holton.
Described as "the masters of G&S in small spaces", Charles Court Opera joins forces with Opera Holland Park, the Opera Holland Park Chorus and City of London Sinfonia in a production of WS Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan's comedy, The Pirates of Penzance, directed by John Savournin. Savournin's recent directing credits include Trial by Jury for Opera North. Opening on 4 August, The Pirates of Penzance will be the first production of a G&S operetta at Holland Park for 20 years.
Tickets for Opera Holland Park's 2020 Season will be on general sale from 26 February, with priority booking from January onwards. For further information please visit www.operahollandpark.com.