Mark Ravenhill Makes Operatic Debut as Librettist of Intolerance at London's Riverside Studios

News   Mark Ravenhill Makes Operatic Debut as Librettist of Intolerance at London's Riverside Studios
Intolerance, a new half-hour operatic monologue with a libretto by Mark Ravenhill and music by Conor Mitchell, will premiere at London's Riverside Studios, running for two performances only Aug. 12 and 13 as part of the venue's Tête à Tête festival of new opera.

Rebecca Caine
Rebecca Caine

The opera will be performed by Rebecca Caine, who created the role of the adult Cosette in the world premiere of Trevor Nunn and John Caird's production of Les Miserables in 1986.

According to press materials, the piece – scored for six musicians – explores the world of Helen, a middle-aged, middle-class woman who pursues a range of 'alternative' therapies for the pain in her gut. At first Helen thinks she’s suffering from a caffeine allergy but, as she digs deeper, she discovers that she is suffering from a far deeper intolerance.

In a press statement, Caine commented, "There are fewer roles in the repertoire for women once they reach middle age. So to have a new substantial dramatic part like this is wonderful. Conor's work is a challenge: it places big demands on my voice but there's incredible drama and musicality in the writing."

Ravenhill, whose plays include Shopping and Fucking (Royal Court), Mother Clapp's Molly House (National Theatre) and The Cut (Donmar Warehouse), makes his opera debut. In a press statement, he commented, "I’ve always wanted to work in opera, ever since I worked selling programmes at the English National Opera in the 1980s. Not many people realise it but I’m a big old opera queen. Conor, Rebeccca and I see this as just the beginning of a fuller project to create new relevant operas for contemporary audiences." Ravenhill and Mitchell are already preparing their next piece: a collaboration with the singer Marc Almond that will open in 2011.

Intolerance is being produced by Bertold Wiesner.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 8237 1111, or visit

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