Corinne Winters, Sarah Connolly & Sean Panikkar Headline English National Opera’s 2019-20 Season

By Francisco Salazar

The English National Opera has announced its 2019-20 season featuring seven new productions and three revivals, the greatest number of new productions in five years. The season will also include four new productions that present the same story: the Orpheus myth will be seen in four operas spanning 230 years, interpreted by four directors from radically different theatrical disciplines, all within the same set.

The season opens with Gluck’s “Orpheus and Eurydice” with Harry Bicket conducting the new production by Wayne McGregor and starring Sarah Connolly as Orfeo, Sarah Tynan as Eurydice, and Soraya Mafi as Eros.

Performance Dates: Oct. 1 – Nov. 19, 2019

The season continues with Offenbach’s “Orpheus in the Underworld” in a new production by Emma Rice. The operetta stars Ed Lyon, Claudia Boyle, Lucia Lucas, Willard White, Robert Hayward, Alex Otterburn, Alan Oke, Keel Watson, Idunnu Münch, and Mary Bevan.

Sian Edwards and Valentina Peleggi alternate at the podium. 

Performance Dates: Oct. 5 -Nov. 28, 2019

The third Orpheus opera for the season will be Harrison Birtwistle’s “The Mask of Orpheus” with a libretto by Peter Zinovieff.

The opera will star Peter Hoare as Orpheus The Man, Daniel Norman as Orpheus The Myth/Hades, Marta Fontanals-Simmons as Eurydice The Woman, and Susan Bickley as Eurydice The Myth/Persephone. The cast is rounded out by James Cleverton and Simon Bailey, while Martyn Brabbins will conduct alongside second conductor James Henshaw.

Performance Dates: Oct. 18  – Nov. 13, 2019

Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” takes the stage with Chris Hopkins conducting a cast that includes John Tomlinson, Elgan Llŷr Thomas, Richard Suart, Andrew Shore, Ben McAteer, Soraya Mafi, Sioned Gwen Davies,  and Yvonne Howard.

Performance Dates: Oct. 28 – Nov. 30, 2019

The final opera in the Orpheus cycle will be Philip Glass’ “Orphée” with a libretto by the composer based on the film by Jean Cocteau. The new production by Netia Jones will star Nicholas Lester as Orphée, Sarah Tynan as Eurydice, Jennifer France as the Princess, Nicky Spence as Heurtebise and Anthony Gregory as Cégeste.

Performance Dates: Nov. 15 – 29, 2019

Justina Gringytė, Sean Panikkar, David Butt Philip, and Ashley Riches headline Bizet’s “Carmen” with Valentina Peleggi the revival.

Performance Dates: Jan. 29 – Feb. 27, 2020

Elizabeth Llewellyn, Olafur Sigurdarson, James Creswell, Christine Rice, and Nadine Benjamin star in a new production of Verdi’s “Luisa Miller” by Barbora Horáková Joly. Alex Joel conducts Verdi’s early masterwork. 

Performance Dates: Feb. 12 – March 6, 2020

Anthony Minghella’s  acclaimed production of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” returns to the ENO stage with Natalya Romaniw in the title role, Dimitri Pittas and Adam Smith alternating as Pinkerton, Roderick Williams and George von Bergen sharing the role of Sharpless and Stephanie Windsor-Lewis as Suzuki. Martyn Brabbins and Martin Fitzpatrick alternate at the pit.

Performance Dates: Feb 26 – April 17, 2020

Božidar Smiljanić, Louise Alder, Johnathan McCullough, Sophie Bevan, and Hanna Hip star in Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” with Kevin John Edusei and James Henshaw conducting the new production by Joe Hill-Gibbins.

Performance Dates: March 14 – April 18, 2020

Corinne Winters stars in the title role of Dvořák’s “Rusalka” in a new production by Tatjana Gürbaca. David Butt Philip, David Soar, Patricia Bardon, and Claire Rutter round out the cast with Antony Hermus conducting. 

Performance Dates: March 28-April 15, 2020