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Mike Leigh makes opera debut with ENO

Published 29 April 2014

Acclaimed film and theatre director Mike Leigh will make his operatic directing debut at the London Coliseum next year, presenting Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic comedy The Pirates Of Penzance as part of ENO’s packed 2014/2015 season.

BAFTA-winning Leigh’s foray into the world of opera, which will see ENO regular Andrew Shore star as Major-General Stanley in the production from 9 May 2015, is just one of many highlights to play in the eclectic season that will comprise 16 productions and mark the start of a brand new musical theatre initiative for the Covent Garden venue.

Alongside classic pieces including revivals of Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed 2009 La Bohème, Nicholas Hytner’s Olivier Award-winning Xerxes and Fiona Shaw’s The Marriage Of Figaro, Peter Sellars will return to work with ENO for the first time since Nixon In China to undertake a five month residency in which he will present two very different pieces giving a strong voice to women written more than 300 years apart, John Adams’ The Gospel According To The Other Mary and Purcell’s The Indian Queen.

The new season will see two world premieres by British composers that will play away from ENO’s London Coliseum home: Between Worlds, a 9/11 inspired piece by Tansy Davies, will be directed by Deborah Warner at the Barbican Theatre, and ENO’s first ever opera for children and families, Joanna Lee’s The Way Back Home, will be directed by acclaimed theatre director Katie Mitchell at the Young Vic.

One of the most exciting announcements made as part of today’s season announcement, however, was the news that ENO has formed a new partnership with former BBC chairman Michael Grade and producer Michael Linnit to develop musical theatre productions to play at the London Coliseum.

While details of the productions that will play as part of this initiative are yet to be announced, Grade and Linnit described themselves as “delighted” with the new partnership, explaining it creates “an opportunity to embrace the new climate where audiences enjoy the blurring of boundaries between opera, theatre and musicals, and clearly they love a first class show.”

The pair promised the production would “bring new audiences to the Coliseum, new revenues to ENO, and [offer] a new look at some of the greatest piece of musical theatre ever written.”

For full information on ENO’s 2014/2015 season, as well as details of plans to refurbish the building’s public areas including the addition of a brand new restaurant and café, visit ENO’s website.


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