English Touring Opera Presents Two New Productions on Its 2023 Autumn Tour

By Afton Wooten

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The English Touring Opera has announced that its upcoming autumn tour will include new productions of Monteverdi’s “The Coronation of Poppea” and Rossini’s “Cinderella.”

The first tour to be programmed by General Director Robin Norton-Hale since taking up the role in January this year, explores the overlaps of love and power. This season brings fresh perspectives to these operas and implements new initiatives such as specially commissioned English librettos by Helen Eastman, and a new program of extra events. 

Norton-Hale directs “The Coronation of Poppea,” featuring a new arrangement of Monteverdi’s score by pianist and music director Yshani Perinpanayagam, who also conducts. The cast includes 2020 Kathleen Ferrier First Prize winner Jessica Cale in the title role, Feargal Mostyn-Williams as Ottone, Kezia Bienek as Ottavia and Martha Jones as Nerone.

“Cinderella,” which will also be sung in English is directed by Jenny Ogilvie and conducted by Naomi Woo. Esme Brownen-Smith leads the cast as Cinderella, with Joseph Doody as Ramiro, Edward Hawkins as Alidoro, Nazran Fikret and Lauren Young as stepsisters Clorinda and Tisbe and Arshak Kuzikyan as stepfather Don Magnifico.

Both productions are designed by Basia Bińkowska, winner of the 2017 Linbury Prize for stage design and creator of a beautiful set for “The Little Prince” at La Scala, Milan last year.

“We’re delighted to be touring these wonderful operas to audiences across the country and to bring new perspectives to Cinderella and Poppea for audiences familiar with these stories, as well as presenting new ways into these masterpieces for those who are new to the works. We want to bring the thrilling experience of opera to the widest possible audience, showing that this centuries-old but ever-evolving artform can speak to – and sing about – the world we live in now,” said Norton-Hale.

The English Touring Opera’s 2023 Autumn tour opens with “The Coronation of Poppea” on September 30 at London’s Hackney Empire and continues until mid-November with shows in Leamington Spa, Norwich, Saffron Walden, Snape, Buxton, Exeter and Poole.