English National Opera has announced its next two ENO Studio Live productions, scheduled for spring 2020. Performed outside of the London Coliseum, ENO Studio Live takes opera to new audiences through more intimate studio and theatre environments.
Next up will be a new production of Judith Weir’s Blond Eckbert and the first revival of Jonathan Dove’s The Day After.
Based on the fairytale “Der blonde Eckbert” by German poet and writer Ludwig Tieck, Blond Eckbert is narrated by the Bird, who tells a story of husband and wife Eckbert and Bertha, who live in isolation. As their secrets threaten to be revealed, a noir folktale of fear and shame unfolds in 1980s Glasgow.
Directed by Chloe Christian, this shortened one-act chamber version of the opera will star Matthew Durkan as Blond Eckbert, alongside Claire Barnett-Jones as Berthe. John Findon sings the roles of Blond Eckbert’s friends Walter, Hugo, and the old woman, and Alison Rose sings the Bird. Performances will run May 20–23 at ENO’s Rehearsal Studios in West Hampstead, Lilian Baylis House. Olivia Clarke conducts, with costumes by Sarah Bowern.
Composed by Dove, with a libretto by April de Angelis, The Day After is a story within a story: a post-apocalyptic setting which introduces the tale of Phaeton, son of the Greek Sun God Phoebus, whose youthful impetuousness leads to disaster and tragedy.
Elgan Llŷr Thomas will lead the cast of The Day After as Phaeton, for a run at Alexandra Palace Theatre April 30–May 2.
This choral version received its U.K. premiere at ENO’s Lillian Baylis House in 2017. Jamie Manton returns to direct, with Mark Biggins as conductor. The movement director is Jasmine Ricketts, and the designer is Camilla Clarke, with lighting by Tom Mannings.