Arcola Theatre today announces the line-up of their Grimeborn Opera Festival as it returns for the fifteenth year, featuring fourteen operas, four new works and eleven female directors presenting a variety of traditional favourites and new tales from across the globe. The Festival opens on the 26 July with a special Gala Night at the Arcola Theatre before the opening of L’Incoronazione di Poppea, a modern interpretation of the seventeenth-century story from Ensemble OrQuesta.
Following the acclaimed productions of Das Rheingold at Arcola Theatre in 2019 and Die Walküre last summer at Hackney Empire, Arcola Theatre will return to Hackney Empire with a double bill of Siegfried and Götterdämmerung on 6 and 7 August 2022.
Other highlights of the Festival include Baseless Fabric Theatre’s Carmen, re-imagined for modern-day London, following the 2019 sell-out Die Fledermaus. Dive into the extravagance of 1920s New York as Sin the Musical blends jazz with contemporary pop music in a fever dream overspilling with money, alcohol and turbulence from Dmii Productions.
Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore is staged in this radical rethink from director Emma Jude Harris which offers a sharp critique on the piece’s underlying imperialism, while Spectra Ensemble brings the comic opera The Boatswain’s Mate, which put female emancipation centre stage when it was premièred in 1916.
The Cervantes Theatre brings the UK première of Black, el payaso, an ingenious allegory of art and nationalist politics, directed by Paula Paz and performed in the UK for the first time since its 1942 opening in Spain. What More? Productions re-imagines a 650-year-old Japanese Noh play, Sumida River, performed in a comedic and poignant mix of Japanese and British sign language by Deaf performers.
Discussions around mental health are explored in The Unravelling Fantasia of Miss H. as true tales of the Victorian medical system are placed at the forefront of this new contemporary opera from Stitched-up-theatre. Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle opens the doors to obsession and desire from the world’s first environmentally sustainable opera company, Green Opera, bringing together artists with a passion for environmental practice in this synthesis of art-installation and theatre.
Arcola Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen said today, “Arcola Theatre has always championed adventurous artists, and this has never been clearer than in our Grimeborn programme this year. Music has the power to connect us, and it has always been our belief that opera should be accessible to all. Our commitment to affordable ticket prices means that everyone can enjoy opera and I am so excited to watch this year’s line-up.”