Photo Journal: Mark Morris' Revised King Arthur at NY City Opera

Classic Arts Features   Photo Journal: Mark Morris' Revised King Arthur at NY City Opera
New York City Opera opened its spring season March 5 with its production of Henry Purcell's King Arthur as adapted and directed by Mark Morris.

Morris, who offered his take on Rameau's Plat_e at City Opera in 2004, has a reputation for his unconventional retoolings of established source material. This remains the case with his King Arthur, which he describes as "a pageant‹a sort of vaudeville‹a sequence of production numbers sacred and profane....The setting is the stage. The Time is now. The performers are themselves."

By eliminating virtually all of the spoken text written by John Dryden, Morris has transformed the 4-hour complete work into a "variety show" that runs just under two hours. A minimalist set was designed by Adrianne Lobel, with costumes by well-known fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi. Jane Glover conducts.

The cast consists of Mhairi Lawson (Soprano I), Sarah Jane McMahon (Soprano II), Heidi Stober (Soprano III), Iestyn Davies (Countertenor), Steven Sanders (Tenor), Daniel Mobbs (Baritone I) and Alexander Tall (Baritone II).

Morris' version of the piece is a co-production of New York City Opera, English National Opera and the Mark Morris Dance Group. It had its world premiere in 2006 at the London Coliseum.

The production runs through March 15 at the New York State Theater.

For more information or tickets visit

Read more about this production in Nancy Dalva's feature article, Something Old, Something New.

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All photos by Carol Rosegg for New York City Opera.

Tenor Steven Sanders and the Mark Morris Dance Group
The cast of New York City Opera's King Arthur with the Mark Morris Dance Group.
Sarah Jane McMahon and Heidi Stober
Sarah Jane McMahon
The Mark Morris Dance Group dances around the maypole
Soprano Mhairi Lawson and members of the Mark Morris Dance Group
The finale
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