16, January 2013

New Opera at The Royal Opera House

Following The Royal Opera’s announcement of its artistic plans for the coming years, Music Sales Classical are pleased to highlight the involvement of several of their composers – namely Philip Glass,Søren Nils EichbergJudith Weir and Kaija Saariaho. At the beginning of January, The Royal Opera announced their intentions for more than 15 new works to be presented from 2013 to 2020, both on the Main Stage and in the Linbury Studio Theatre.

Director of Opera Kasper Holten and Music Director Antonio Pappano plan to extend the established tradition of commissioning British composers as well as work by leading international artists.

Kasper Holten commented: ‘New work is not and should not be at the periphery of our programme, but right at the core of what and who we are. And this is something we do, not because we must, but because it is something that we are passionate about. We hope that opera audiences will share our curiosity and come with us with open minds along this journey.’

Antonio Pappano added: ‘Our efforts are being focused on working with the composers who really excite us, both for the Linbury Studio Theatre and for the main stage. We have worked hard to find the composers we feel have a real flair and passion for opera, and we are very excited about being able to roll out our vision for new work on all scales.’

During the 2014/15 season a new opera by Philip Glass will be presented in the Linbury. This work will be based on Franz Kafka’s The Trial and is a co-commission with Music Theatre Wales and Houston Grand Opera. Also commissioned for the Linbury is a new chamber opera by German/Danish composer Søren Nils Eichberg and librettist Hannah Dübgen. The opera is a taut thriller, which asks us to question what we can really trust – which emotions are real and which are virtual.

Future plans from 2015 onwards include an adaptation of Max Frisch’s play Count Oederland by Judith Weir and librettist Ben Power, a collaboration with Scottish Opera and Oper Frankfurt.

In 2020 The Royal Opera will challenge leading European composers Kaija Saariaho (Finland), Mark-Anthony Turnage (UK), Luca Francesconi (Italy) and Jörg Widmann (Germany) to create large scale new operas. The vision is for four distinct operas, each one in part inspired by the composer’s response to a set of questions developed in collaboration with the philosopher Slavoj Žižek: ‘What preoccupies us today? How do we represent ourselves on stage? What are the collective myths of our present and future?’