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King’s Head reinvented as opera house

First Published 20 September 2010, Last Updated 20 September 2010

London’s King’s Head theatre is to re-launch as London’s Little Opera House later this autumn, under the Artistic Directorship of Adam Spreadbury-Maher.

Playwright Mark Ravenhill has been appointed Associate Director and will write and direct two operas in 2011, while the theatre’s patrons include Jonathan Miller, Joanna Lumley, Alan Parker, Tom Stoppard and Janie Dee.

The re-invented venue’s first production, The Barber Of Seville (Or Salisbury), Robin Norton-Hale’s new version of Rossini’s comic classic, opens at the King’s Head theatre in October. The season will continue with a new version of Madam Butterfly and two UK premieres of Phillip Glass operas.

Speaking about the theatre’s change of artistic direction, Spreadbury-Maher said: “The King’s Head, as London’s Little Opera House, will be an alternative to ENO and Covent Garden, and will create a new generation of audiences, composers and performers.”

The King’s Head theatre opened in the back room of an Islington pub in 1970, run by American Dan Crawford. When Crawford died in 2005, his wife Stephanie Sinclaire continued to realise his dream, refurbishing the 120-seat venue before passing the baton to Spreadbury-Maher.

Spreadbury-Maher is the founder of the OperaUpClose company, which is dedicated to presenting new, challenging and classic operas in intimate spaces. It was recently hugely successful with its staging of La Bohème, which proved so successful at the Cock Tavern theatre that it transferred to Soho theatre, where it played a sell out season.



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