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ETO Autumn 2020 Season Announcement: Lyric Solitude

Lyric Solitude, ETO’s artist-led season, focuses on the voice of the individual in isolation, on the power of song, and of poetry - with responses to that power in dance, image and drama. By foregrounding solo performers, ETO hope to empower the artist at a time when freelance musicians are facing huge uncertainty.

ETO will pick up where it left off at Snape Maltings, the final venue the company was able to visit on its cancelled Spring 2020 tour. ETO will then visit The Assembly Halls, Tunbridge Wells; Hackney Empire, London; and Lancaster Priory, plus more venues to be announced in the upcoming weeks.

ETO are taking every measure to keep audiences, artists and staff safe whilst on tour, and working with our venue partners to do so. Audience members are encouraged to get in touch with questions about visiting a show.


The below repertoire, divided into three separate programs, is confirmed with additional repertoire to be announced in the upcoming weeks.


A Waterbird Talk (Argento)
Singer: Julien Van Mellaerts
Pianist: Ella O'Neill
Director: Susan Bickley

In the course of an illustrated lecture on the mating habits of waterfowl, an ornithologist (baritone Julien Van Mellaerts) describes his oppressive marriage. Each song-like section of the drama describes a different species, and onto each he projects his own feelings – to the evident concern of his wife in the audience, whose bird-like coughs interrupt his lyric digressions. Light-hearted and melancholy in equal measure.

Susan Bickley, widely regarded as one of the most accomplished mezzo-sopranos of her generation, makes her directorial debut, and the pianist is Ella O’Neill. Sung in English. Adapted by Dominick Argento from the On the Harmfulness of Tobacco by Anton Chekov and The Birds of America by J. J. Audobon. A contemporary opera, premiered in 1977.

More repertoire for programme 1 to be announced shortly.


Songs and Proverbs of William Blake (Britten)
Singer: Julien Van Mellaerts
Pianist: Ella O'Neill
Director: John Savournin

The visionary poet and painter William Blake inspired many composers, none more effectively than Benjamin Britten. This cycle, drawing a blazing picture of the innocence and injustice Blake saw around him, is staged by John Savournin, with Cardiff Singer of the World 2019 finalist, Julien Van Mellaerts, accompanied by Ella O’Neill.

Romances on British Poetry (Shostakovich)
Singer: Edward Hawkins
Pianist: Sergey Rybin
Director: James Conway

Dimitri Shostakovich’s brooding, passionate settings of Robert Burns, Shakespeare and Raleigh conceal the composer’s deep feelings about life, caught as he was on the anvil of 1942, hammered by clashing totalitarian armies. Edward Hawkins (bass) is the voice of the man who awaits the reasonless midnight call of his killer, in a world in which beauty is crushed as soon as it is found. Accompanied by Sergey Rybin.

The Poet’s Echo (Britten)
Singer: Jenny Stafford
Pianist: Sergey Rybin
Director: James Conway

Written in Armenia for the Russian soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, Britten’s careful, astonishing setting of the Russian poet Pushkin are rarely performed. ‘Who hears the poet? Who is listening to my song?’ as poet and composer. Directed by James Conway, Jenny Stafford is the soloist in this haunting work, sung in the original Russian, accompanied by Sergey Rybin.

Boyhood's End (Tippett)
Singer: Thomas Elwin
Pianist: Ian Tindale
Dancer: Paul Chantry
Choreography: Rae Piper

Thomas Elwin (tenor) is the soloist in the ecstatic Boyhood’s End (1943), to which Paul Chantry and Rae Piper make response in dance.

The Holy Sonnets of John Donne (Britten)
Singer: Richard Dowling
Pianist: Ian Tindale
Movement: Bernadette Iglich 

Iglich also sets Britten’s eloquent, searing response to what he saw at the concentration camp at Belsen at the end of the war in The Holy Sonnets of John Donne. Donne’s sonnets ravish and twist, and call out for love and understanding. They are sung by tenor Richard Dowling.

A Charm of Lullabies (Britten)
Singer: Katie Stevenson
Pianist: Ian Tindale
Director: James Conway

Stevenson is also the soloist in Britten’s bizarre Charm of Lullabies, composed on poems by William Blake, Robert Burns, Robert Greene, Thomas Randolph and John Phillip - maybe not the kind of thing to sing you to sleep.

The Heart's Assurance (Tippett)
Singers: Thomas Elwin
Pianist: Ian Tindale
Movement: Bernadette Iglich

Elwin is also the soloist in The Heart’s Assurance - the most remarkable and fearless setting of poetry by young men who fought and died in WW2. These poems, thrusting sensual desire into a landscape of death, finds response in movement by Bernadette Iglich.

Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva (Shostakovich)
Singer: Katie Stevenson
Pianist: Ian Tindale
Movement: Rahel Vonmoos

Mezzo soprano Katie Stevenson is the soloist in Shostakovich’s tribute to Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva, an utterly unique voice in the maelstrom of the inter war and war years. Choreographer Rahel Vonmoos has devised a response in movement.

Eight texts on isolation were chosen by the composers, each drawing on what they had experienced during the last five months. The opera, shot on iPhone, directed by Billy Boyd Cape, weaves these eight songs into a unified viewing experience, that takes the audience on a visual journey through evolving representations of isolation. The full work is available in audio and video on Apple Music.

Zeffman conducts the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and a cast of leading opera singers including Sarah ConnollyIestyn DaviesSophie Bevan and two recent winners of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.

Zeffman was determined to engage composers and singers from around the world to highlight the connection between people, in spite of the shared experience of physical isolation during the global pandemic. Fifty people worked on creating Eight Songs from Isolation with those participating coming from across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia including Berlin, Budapest, Kherson, London, Meknes, Mexico City, Munich, New York, St. Petersburg, San Diego and Shanghai.

Oliver Zeffman commented:

“Crises have often been the catalyst for artists to develop not only new work, but also new ways of working. The current pandemic gripping the world has made impossible the two fundamental requirements of most art forms - the interaction of artists with each other, and between artists and audiences. Rather than trying to repurpose something written in another context, I felt it artistically imperative to commission something that is very much of and for our current situation that speaks to the shared experience we are all going through. Music is the great unifier and I wish to thank everyone who came together with such enthusiasm and commitment to create a new opera that we hope will resonate with audiences and bring people together around the world.”

Eight Songs From Isolation consists of:

  • Thomas Adès: Gyökér by Miklós Radnóti, sung in Hungarian by Katalin Károlyi with Ricardo Gallardo (marimba)
  • Nico Muhly: New-Made Tongue by Thomas Traherne, sung in English by Iestyn Davies
  • Helen Grime: Prayer by Carol Ann Duffy, sung in English by Sarah Connolly
  • Huw Watkins: How by Philip Larkin, sung in English by Toby Spence
  • Du Yun: Every Grass A Spring, with her own text co-authored Yang Nan, sung in Mandarin by Shenyang with Wu Man (Pipa) and Wu Wei (Sheng)
  • Freya Waley-Cohen: Spell for Reality by Rebecca Tamás, sung in English by Julia Bullock
  • Ilya Demutsky: I Guess the Universe is to Blame, words of Alexey Barishnikov as he held up a Russian bank at the height of lockdown, sung in Russian by Andrei Kymach
  • Julian Anderson: Le 3 mai, a letter he received during lockdown from composer Ahmed Essyad, sung in French by Sophie Bevan

Zeffman conducted the orchestra in a studio, with the composers and singers virtually ‘in the room’ to ensure that the orchestral accompaniment was a collaborative process. The singers were then filmed in or near their own homes, recording to these backing tracks using iPhone 11 Pro. Eight Songs From Isolation is the first opera recorded using iPhone.

Let Music Live

400 freelance professional musicians from all parts of the industry will be joined in support by leading musical figures including David HillRaphael WallfischEmma Johnson and Tasmin Little, to perform in Parliament Square and Centenary Square, Birmingham, shining a light on the need for targeted support for freelance musicians and all those who work in the arts and entertainment sector. They are also joined in solidarity by the Musicians' UnionThe Musicians' Answering ServiceEmily Eavis and more.

Tuesday 6 October, 12:00
Parliament Square, London
Centenary Square, Birmingham

Conducted by renowned director David Hill in Parliament Square, the freelance musicians will perform a short section of 'Mars' from Holst's The Planets before standing in silence for two minutes. The 20% of the piece that they will perform represents the maximum 20% support that freelancers receive from the government through the SEISS grant. The two-minute silence represents the 45% of musicians currently not covered by the SEISS grant (MU). The event will be Covid-safe, adhering strictly to social distancing regulations, facilitated by support from #WeMakeEvents.

Covid restrictions have disproportionately impacted the music and events industries, resulting in an almost total loss of opportunity to work. Investment is essential so that freelance musicians can continue to support the intricate network of businesses that rely on arts and events for their footfall.

The arts and culture industry contributes £10.8 billion a year directly to the UK economy (ONS), with growth in creative industries previously running at five times that of the rest of the economy. With effective short-term support, freelance musicians will continue to make a positive impact.

For every £1 directly spent on music and events, an extra £2 is generated in the wider economy (ACE), powering a network of businesses across the country. Supporting freelance musicians means supporting the wider economy.

The music sector is a world-leading asset to the UK and its highly-skilled professionals are regarded as the world's finest, in particular in recording award-winning film scores. The UK's breadth and diversity of concerts, events, festivals and gigs is globally renowned, bringing life to towns and cities and attracting over 40% of inbound tourist spend (ACE), providing inspiration and joy to everyone through work in the community, from schools to care homes.

The largely freelance workforce that makes up the music industry has not received the targeted support it needs to go forwards. According to Musicians' Union research, 70% of musicians are unable to undertake more than a quarter of their usual work. Two-thirds of musicians face severe financial hardship.

Much of the £1.57 billion government fund for culture has not reached freelancers, as this money is largely earmarked for venues and organisations, many of which remain closed or at severely reduced capacity. Self-employed freelancers also account for more than 80% of all orchestral players.

Offering support at 20% of average monthly trading profits, capped at a maximum of £1,875 over the months of November, December and January, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension announced by the Government will put much of the skilled freelance workforce out of business. 45% of musicians are currently not covered by the SEISS grant (MU).

With other European nations investing more in their creative industries through this difficult time, the U.K. risks being left behind and losing its status as a leader in the field.

Let Music Live calls on the Government:

  • to recognise that freelance musicians are an economic asset. It is essential they invest in freelancers so that they can continue to support the intricate network of businesses that rely on arts and events for their footfall.
  • for sector-specific support to reopen, including a subsidised concert ticket scheme while social distancing restrictions remain, and Government-backed insurance for live events and theatre performances.
  • for targeted support for those skilled workforces forced to remain closed by Covid restrictions, so that freelance musicians are still there to bring music to everyone when this is over. 

Galvanised by the energy and the goodwill among the musical community to want to keep music alive and perform again, violinist Jessie Murphy conceived the idea of getting together in Parliament Square, to show that "we are here and ready to work". Like so many in her sectors, all of Murphy's work this year, including tours with Jeff Lynne's Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Sophie Ellis Bextor, had to be cancelled due to Covid. A post on Facebook asking "Anyone else in?" became a group of over 2000 within days.

On behalf of freelance musicians, violinist Jessie Murphy said:
"We want to show that our profession is viable, and valuable. Freelancing can be misunderstood, we play in the O2 one day, a small wedding the next, and a film recording session the day after. Each one of us is a small business that contributes both to the economy and the wellbeing of the country.

Horace Trubridge, Musicians' Union General Secretary, said:
"We know from the Union's recent research just how many musicians are struggling financially and at real risk of leaving music for good. In better times, our members drive a £5bn music industry with their talent. One artist's gig will create a domino effect of jobs, from lighting technicians to ticket sellers. If one musician is out of work, you can be sure many others will be affected too. We appreciate all the Government has done to support our members through the furlough and self-employment income support schemes so far, but they must not abandon musicians now. With social distancing measures still in place, venues can only sell at around 30% of usual capacity. We are calling on the Government to implement a seat-matching scheme, which would take venues' potential revenue to 60%, providing a lifeline to musicians and the wider industry. Getting musicians back to work is the priority. However, this is simply not realistic for so many of our members while social distancing remains in place. We strongly urge the Government to recognise the unique situation that our members are in, and to provide sector specific financial support for musicians."

#WeMakeEvents said:
"#WeMakeEvents is delighted that Let Music Live is lending its considerable support to the campaign. We have gained a lot of awareness through our recent activities, both with the public and the Government, particularly the Global Action Day on 30th September. We want that momentum to continue. Let Music Live is a wonderful way of garnering further support for our industry and those people and their families who are in need of help now."

Due to strict limits on numbers in Parliament Square, musicians who would like to join the event should contact

To create Notes From Isolation, Lewis and Laura interviewed performers about their experiences in lockdown, with the aim of bringing to life each person’s story in a bespoke song showcasing not only their artistry but also their unique humanity. The result is a series of beautiful and poignant new pieces, with each element of the creative process – text, music, piano track, vocal recording and visual material – created in isolation and brought together in a resulting video to be released online. Four of eight songs have been released thus far, and they are viewable online now via Murphy & Attridge's website and social media platforms (links below), with the next four being released across October.

Everyone participating in the project is donating their time, and each performer is nominating a charity to champion with their song. Charities supported to date include The Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project, Help Musicians, The Pituitary Foundation, OperAffinity, The Fawcett Society and the Lebanese Red Cross.

Performers: Nicky Spence, Natalya Romaniw, Catriona Morison, Julien Van Mellaerts and Sofia Castillo (flute), Isabelle Peters, Marta Fontanals-Simmons, David Horton, Dame Felicity Lott
Pianist: Dylan Perez
Film & Audio: Jamie Hall
Music & Words: Murphy & Attridge

Lewis Murphy & Laura Attridge say -

We discovered early on in the interviews that however difficult the experiences of each performer, the conversation always turned towards moments of profound joy and hope - we wanted to honour that resilience and optimism in the face of great crisis and ongoing trauma; we therefore focused our efforts on bringing those particular moments to life in order to bring that same joy and hope to our audience members. Every piece is therefore really a note from isolation from each performer to say ‘we can get through this’.”

Lewis Murphy and Laura Attridge have quickly established themselves as one of the most exciting young creative partnerships on the opera scene today. They are particularly interested in making socially conscious work which responds directly to the modern world and asks questions of its viewers. Their ever-growing portfolio together already includes commissions from the Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne, the National Opera Studio, and Sound Festival. Lewis and Laura's latest commission is a new one-act opera for Leeds Youth Opera entitled ARC23, set to premiere in 2021.

Laura and Lewis have started their collaboration for Glyndebourne’s Young Composer-in-Residence scheme with Belongings, an impressive opera drawing its inspiration from deeply moving human experiences during the refugee crisis, a hot topic of the time and always valid in some part of the world. Belongings clearly shows how Laura and Lewis have worked closely and inspired each other. A very promising work that makes me look forward to their next projects together.”

Sebastian Schwarz, former General Director, Glyndebourne

Instagram: @Murphy_Attridge
Twitter: @Murphy_Attridge

Two newly programmed, progressive opera productions will welcome audiences on Saturday 17 and 24 October. Curated by Oliver Mears, the stagings will feature celebrated directors from the world of opera and theatre, paired with composers, conductors, singers and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in inspiring works that would never normally be seen on the main stage of the Royal Opera House.

The first of these, 4/4, will be performed live on Saturday 17 October. Directed by Olivier Award nominee Adele Thomas, renowned baroque specialist Christian Curnyn will conduct Alexandra Lowe and Jonathan McGovern in Handel’s Apollo and Daphne. Gruber’s wild and irreverent Frankenstein!! will see one of the most exciting and sought-after singers of his generation, Allan Clayton, take to the stage, directed by multi-Olivier Award-winning director Richard Jones, conducted by former Jette Parker Young Artist (JPYA) Ed Whitehead. Current JPYA soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha will sing Barber’s Knoxville Summer 1915, directed by Antony McDonald and conducted by Patrick Milne. And finally, leading British mezzo-soprano Christine Rice will perform Britten’s final masterpiece Phaedra - directed by theatre and opera specialist Deborah Warner.

Curnyn Christian 2017.jpgChristian Curnyn.

New Dark Age will follow on Saturday 24 October. The evening will open with The Knife of Dawn, a one-person chamber opera by one of Britain’s most exciting young composers, Hannah Kendall. The new production will be directed by critically acclaimed director Ola Ince, conducted by Natalie Murray Beale and will feature baritone Peter Brathwaite. Katie Mitchell will present a brand-new music drama piece showcasing works by female composers: Missy Mazzoli, Anna Meredith and Anna Thorvaldsdottir. The Royal Opera House’s commitment to promoting the newest talent continues, as emerging stage directors who have taken part in the ROH opera training programme, led by Katie Mitchell, assist on both programmes. Tickets for the online livestreams of 4/4 and New Dark Age are available online, and ticketing for live audiences will open soon.

Hannah Kendall (c) Chris Alexander.jpg Hannah Kendall © Chris Alexander.

Director of Opera, Oliver Mears said:

“The Royal Opera returns, determined to embrace the constraints of our new world while seeing this as a moment of artistic opportunity, offering a breadth of work from the beginning of our story - concerts of Ariodante, one of the great Handel operas first staged at Covent Garden - through to Verdi, conducted by Antonio Pappano, and finally to bold new stagings of contemporary work and pieces that have never been staged at Covent Garden. Working alongside a world-class assembly of singers, directors and conductors, we can’t wait to be back, presenting these exhilarating projects to both live and digital global audiences.”

In a unique collaboration with Figment Productions and Royal Holloway University, we are also proud to announce the world’s first original opera in hyper reality: Current, Rising, an artistic experiment bringing together historic stagecraft and cutting-edge technology, developed by a female-led creative team.

Current Rising - Anna Dennis Rehearsal - Isha Shah.jpg Anna Dennis, in rehearsal for Current Rising © Isha Shah.

The opera, directed by Netia Jones, designed by Joanna Scotcher, and composed by Samantha Fernando, is inspired by the liberation of Ariel at the end of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It places audiences at the centre of an immersive, dream-like virtual world, taking them on a journey through imaginary landscapes of the night, from twilight to dawn. Current, Rising is a multi-sensory, fully immersive 360 experience exploring ideas of isolation, connection, and how we can collectively reimagine our futures.

Current, Rising has been produced as part of the Royal Opera House’s innovation programme, Audience Labs, and is ideal for those who are new to opera. It will take place in the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre from 28 November 2020 and will strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines. More details will be announced when booking opens.

Current Rising - Set design by Joanna Scotcher.jpgCurrent Rising - set design by Joanna Scotcher.

The Royal Opera House continues to provide the best opportunities for talented young singers, conductors, repetiteurs and directors from across the globe through the Jette Parker Young Artist programme. To welcome the new recruits, Meet the Young Artists Week returns from 26-31 October with a packed virtual and live schedule. Power is placed in the hands of the digital audience as the week kicks off with Juke Box, a streamed event where each artist sings an aria or song in a bid to make it to the final live concert on Friday 30 October.

Complementing the main stage short operas, across the week three Female Monodramas will be broadcast featuring Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, Stephanie Wake-Edwards and Alexandra Lowe, paired with directors from the Royal Opera House’s LockDown/SkillUp training programme under the tutelage of Katie Mitchell. The three short films have been shot on location in the Royal Opera House giving glimpses of much-missed corridors and backstage areas. Rounding off the week, live audiences will be treated to recitals in the Linbury Theatre on Thursday 29 October featuring Blaise Malaba, Andrés Presno and April Koyejo-Audiger, and the full collective will join to sing in an Ensemble concert on Wednesday 28 October.

Ariodante was the first opera written by Handel for the first theatre on the current Royal Opera House site in 1735 and has not been performed at Covent Garden since. This Autumn, the production makes a welcome return. Performed in concert on Friday 20 and Sunday 22 November - the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House will play alongside Paula Murrihy, Chen Reiss, Gerald Finley and Sophie Bevan, conducted by Christian Curnyn. A concert performance of Verdi’s Falstaff will follow on Friday 27 and Sunday 29 November, with celebrated bass-baritone Bryn Terfel resuming the titular role alongside Simon Keenlyside, conducted by Antonio Pappano.

Terfel Catherine Ashmore.jpgSir Bryn Terfel as Falstaff © Catherine Ashmore.

In December, The Royal Opera will perform several Christmas Concerts with the combined forces of the Royal Opera Chorus, Jette Parker Young Artists and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

In November, The Royal Ballet: Live will offer a unique opportunity to see, in person, The Royal Ballet back on its home stage in a snapshot of its rich repertory past and present. Dancers drawn from across the Company will perform a selection of excerpts from traditional and contemporary classics, and each evening will close with a celebrated one-act ballet. Programme A features Kenneth MacMillan’s showstopping Elite Syncopations and Programme B includes Christopher Wheeldon’s ballet of shimmering beauty, Within the Golden Hour.

A reworked, Covid-safe version of The Nutcracker will also open in time for a festive treat for the whole family, a classic with a special place in the hearts of ballet fans around the world. Peter Wright's production of The Nutcracker has been enchanting children and adults alike since its first performance by The Royal Ballet in 1984. Combined with Tchaikovsky's sumptuous, iconic score and charming designs by Julia Trevelyan Oman, this is a magical production. More details of this exciting adaptation are to be announced.

On Friday 9 October, The Royal Ballet returns for a special livestreamed performance, The Royal Ballet: Back on Stage. After an absence of seven months the whole Company will be reunited on their home stage with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in a spectacular collection of highlights from their wide-ranging repertory. A specially invited small audience, including students and health workers, will join us for our first live performance with an audience since the beginning of lockdown.

The Insights series also continues via the ROH YouTube Channel, allowing global digital audiences the chance to discover more about the work being created by the Companies and creators working on stage and behind the scenes. The first will provide behind-the-scenes footage of Hannah Kendall’s The Knife of Dawn, offering fascinating rehearsal footage and interviews with the cast and creative team.

Royal Ballet dancers will host a dedicated Insight to celebrate Black History Month, this event will take a personal approach, discussing dancers’ experiences and influences, exploring heritage and culture and how these shared and individual experiences have shaped their lives and their careers in the UK and beyond.

Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, Alex Beard, said:

"We are delighted to present this bold, wide-ranging autumn programme highlighting the creativity and innovation that can come from adversity. It is vital for theatres across the UK and for our community of diverse artists, that we begin to bring our art forms safely back to our stages. This programme of new work, shorts, a world first hyperreality opera and live broadcasts are all underpinned by our efforts to reach new and existing audiences online, showcasing the very best of our art forms in new and unexpected ways."

Please note that full casting and on sale information will follow in the coming weeks.

This October audiences across Ireland and around the world will have a chance to experience a taste of the magic of Wexford Festival Opera at home. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s reimagined Festival Waiting for Shakespeare …The Festival in the air will be an online celebration, starting on 11 October and running over eight consecutive days. This reimagined Festival aims to bring together audiences and the wider worldwide Wexford community through the power of music. Wexford Festival Opera, RTÉ and ARTE have joined forces once again to ensure that every magical moment will be available for audiences to enjoy for free from the comfort and safety of their own homes with unforgettable events and performances to be streamed/ broadcast.

One of the much-anticipated highlights will be the Gala Concert - Remote Voices, supported by specialist insurer, Ecclesiastical, which will feature performances from some of the most famous and outstanding stars from the opera world, all of whom have appeared in Wexford in the past. This unique and unforgettable concert will be streamed free on 16th October at 8pm.

The Gala Concert - Remote Voices will be hosted by Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi and RTÉ Lyric FM presenter Marty Whelan and will see these leading names in opera join remotely from their own homes. Wexford Festival Opera has historically served as a springboard for many young singers at the beginning of their careers onto the international stage and while they have gone on to lofty careers, Wexford Festival Opera has always remained in their hearts. It is with great honour that we welcome them back to perform for you once again - from their homes to yours.

The star studded line up will include mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina, bass baritone Simone Alberghini, baritone Nicola Alaimo, mezzo-soprano Daniela Barcellona, baritone Paolo Bordogna, tenor Joseph Calleja, baritone Roberto de Candia, soprano Helena Dix, soprano Anne Sophie Duprels, tenor Juan Diego Flórez, baritone Igor Golovatenko, tenor Dmitry Golovnin, soprano Sophie Gordeladze, soprano Ermonela Jaho, mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly, baritone Leon Kim, baritone Alessandro Luongo, mezzo-soprano Raffaella Lupinacci, soprano Angela Meade, tenor Sergey Romanovsky, baritone Luca Salsi, tenor Levy Sekgapane, Soprano Mariangela Sicilia, mezzo-soprano Nora Sourouzian and tenor Noah Stewart.

Stream live at, catch up on RTÉ Player and on RTÉ Player’s exclusive Wexford Festival Opera pop-up channel.

David McLoughlin, CEO Wexford Festival Opera said today, “For many years, the support of Ecclesiastical has enabled the Festival to bring to Wexford leading Irish and international opera talent. This year, although such performers are unable to grace the Wexford Opera stage in person, thanks to Ecclesiastical’s visionary support, the reimagined Festival will bring to its audiences at home and abroad an unparalleled line-up of world-renowned operatic talent in a live web-streamed interactive concert. Ecclesiastical’s steadfast support of Wexford during these challenging times for live performances is more appreciated than ever. “

David Lane, Managing Director - Ireland, Ecclesiastical, said: “At a time when we are physically distanced and face being enclosed in our homes, the role of the arts in bringing us together and in creating moments of social cohesion and joy is of vital importance to wellbeing.”

For full details of Waiting for Shakespeare ...The Festival in the airand to download the brochure go to .

Following its successful launch in 2019, OperaStreaming streams nine operas on YouTube from the historic opera houses of Emilia-Romagna during the 2020-21 season, with fully-staged productions of Verdi's La traviata in October from Modena and Verdi'sOtello from Bologna in November following a concert performance of Ernani from Parma on 25 September.

OperaStreaming brings together eight magnificent opera houses for the joint venture to promote the region's unique operatic heritage, home to legendary singers Luciano Pavarotti, Leo Nucci and Mirella Freni, and the great opera composer Giuseppe Verdi, born in Busseto near Parma. Verdi's Aroldo premiered at the opening of the opera house in Rimini in 1857 and the rebuilt opera house on the site will present a fully staged production of this little-known work on 16 April 2021.

As audiences return to theatres in Italy, OperaStreaming enables opera lovers across the world to view outstanding performances for free from the homeland of bel canto singing. Performances are streamed live and made available indefinitely with full subtitles in Italian and English. During intervals, the camera goes behind-the-scenes of the production for exclusive interview with the cast and team.

Verdi's La traviata is presented from Modena, Pavarotti's birthplace, on 16 October 2020, with Matteo Lippi in the role of Alfredo Germont alongside Maria Mudryak as Violetta Valery and Ernesto Petti as Giorgio Germont, in a unique new production by Stefano Monti, with the orchestra seated in the stalls and the audience in the boxes.

Italian tenor Matteo Lippi studied in Modena under the guidance of Mirella Freni and has recently appeared on the Glyndebourne Festival Tour and sung Alfredo at the Royal Danish Opera and at La Fenice. Khazak soprano Mudryak was one of the winners of the Placido Domingo Operalia competition in 2017 and has performed Violetta across Italy at San Carlo and Maggio Musicale. Previously in Modena, Monti has presented productions of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Britten's The Little Sweep and Menotti's Il Dittico.

In Bologna, Gregory Kunde takes the title role in Verdi's Otello on 18 November alongside a cast that includes Franco Vassallo as Iago and Mariangela Sicilia as Desdemona, conducted by Asher Fisch in a new production by Gabriele Lavia.

The Teatro "Dante Alighieri" di Ravenna has taken the opportunity in the pandemic to explore repertoire they do not usually cover, presenting a new production of Monteverdi's Orfeo on 28 February 2021 with the Accademia Bizantina conducted by Ottavio Dantone, himself born in Ravenna. Dante Alighieri, who mentioned Orpheus in his Inferno, was buried in Ravenna.

The region of Emilia Romagna is committed to the preservation of its operatic heritage. OperaStreaming has 500,000 viewers and 12,000 subscribers with a large audience in the US. OperaStreaming is a continuation of TeatroNet, the initiative launched by the local department of culture in 2012. The productions are made in collaboration with students from the EDUNOVA E-Learning Center (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia).

Aldo Sisillo, Director of the Fondazione Teatro Comunale di Modena, said: "The Teatro Comunale di Modena began this initiative to offer extraordinary opportunities to the young students of EDUNOVA to collaborate on such a high-profile international series of digital events."

Paolo Cantù, Director of the Fondazione I Teatri di Reggio Emilia, said: "This is a rare example of a collaboration between eight opera houses. It is a social pact rather than an institutional one."

Tommaso Minerva, Director of EDUNOVA (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia), said: "It is touching to see audience members as far away as Australia in the middle of the night watching and engaging in sharing ideas during performances."

Watch OperaStreaming on YouTube here

Upcoming Livestreams

Friday 25 September, 20:00 CET, Teatro Regio, Parma

Verdi: Ernani (concert performance)

Piero Pretti - Ernani
Vladimir Stoyanov - Don Carlo
Roberto Tagliavini - Don Ruy De Silva
Eleonora Buratto - Elvira
Carlotta Vichi - Giovanna
Paolo Antognetti - Don Riccardo
Federico Benetti - Jago
Michele Mariotti, conductor
Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini
Coro Del Teatro Regio Di Parma
Martino Faggiani, chorus master

Friday 16 October, 20:00, CET Teatro Comunale "Luciano Pavarotti", Modena

Verdi: La traviata (new production)

Maria Mudryak - Violetta Valery
Matteo Lippi - Alfredo Germont
Ernesto Petti - Giorgio Germont
Ana Victória Pitts - Flora Bervoix
Lucia Paffi - Annina
Antonio Mandrillo - Gastone
Daniel Kim - Barone Douphol
Alex Martini - Marchese d'Obigny
Francesco Leone - Dottore di Grenvil
Alessandro Vannucci - Giuseppe
Alessandro D'Agostini, conductor
Stefano Monti, director
Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana
Coro Lirico di Modena
Stefano Colò, chorus master

Wednesday 18 November, 20:00 CET, Teatro Comunale, Bologna

Verdi: Otello (new production)

Gregory Kunde - Otello
Franco Vassallo - Iago
Marco Miglietta - Cassio
Pietro Picone - Roderigo
Luciano Leoni - Lodovico
Luca Gallo - Montano
Mariangela Sicilia - Desdemona
Asher Fisch, conductor
Gabriele Lavia, director
Alberto Malazzi, chorus master
Alessandro Camera, set designer
Andrea Viotti, costume designer
Gianni Marras, assistant director

27 November 2020: Massenet - Werther (Teatro Comunale, Modena)

29 December 2020: Puccini - Madama Butterfly (Teatro Comunale, Ferrara)

28 February 2021: Monteverdi - Orfeo (Teatro "Dante Alighieri", Ravenna)

28 March 2021: Rossini - Il barbiere di Siviglia (Teatro Municipale, Reggio Emilia)

16 April 2021: Verdi - Aroldo (Teatro ‘Amintore Galli’, Rimini)

18 April 2021: Donizetti - La Favourite | Teatro Municipale, Piacenza)


The melodramma tradition in the Emilia-Romagna region, with its stars and the popular passion that has been handed down over the centuries, constitutes a heritage of global interest. Emilia-Romagna is the region of Giuseppe Verdi and of performers who have changed the history of this musical genre such as Carlo Bergonzi, Luciano Pavarotti, Leo Nucci and Mirella Freni. It the enjoys today one of the most prolific musical life in the operatic world thanks to the highest concentration of historical theaters of the nation. Every year, the theaters of Emilia-Romagna produce lyrical performances of the highest standard, thanks not only to the quality of the artists but also to the preservation of a unique mastery and craftmanship in the construction of the operatic productions.

OperaStreaming offers a seasonal program of video broadcasts, freely available on YouTube, from the Opera Theatres of Emilia-Romagna (Bologna, Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Ferrara Ravenna and Rimini) in collaboration with EDUNOVA-University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The project, that will run from 2019 through 2021, let enjoy Emilia-Romagna's lyric tradition and opera productions from the rest of the world. OperaStreaming was born thanks to TeatroNet, a pioneering streaming program launched by the Culture Department of the Emilia-Romagna Region in 2012 who provided the technology that enabled all theatres to transmit their shows live.

OperaStreaming is a continuation of TeatroNet, the initiative launched by the Department of Culture of the Emilia-Romagna region in 2012 and aimed at streaming musical performances from the theaters and institutions of the territory, and also thanks to the equipment of the fiber optic network put in place by Lepida S.p.A.

Following the experience of TeatroNet, numerous theatres continued and developed in the following years the digital broadcasting channel following, thanks to a state-of-the-art technological endowment, a trend that is emerging as a fundamental component of the international opera scene.

Among these, the Teatro Comunale di Modena has found in the communication by video an indispensable opportunity for the development of the live show and has activated, starting in 2013, a collaboration with the EDUNOVA E-Learning Center, a leading reality in the video production industry. The shows, filmed live in HD, were broadcast regularly and seen in free-to-air on the YouTube platform by tens of thousands of viewers from all over the world.

Recent OLF’s have focused on a single composer, such as The Schumann Project in 2016, or a specific context, such as fin-de-siècle Vienna during 2017’s spotlight on ‘last of the Romantics’, Gustav Mahler, and 2018’s The Grand Tour: A European Journey in Song. In 2019, a theme united the diverse concerts and events: Tales of Beyond - Magic, Myths and Mortals. In conversation, Artistic Director Sholto Kynoch explained that there were several factors behind the drive to expand the aesthetic sweep of this year’s Festival, Connections Across Time.

“It was a combination of two things. First, a desire to look forwards, as part of our Song Futures initiative through which we commission new works and programme existing works by living composers. We aim to present at least three world premieres every year, and this year audiences will be able to hear the music of 27 living composers. Then, I was keen to include more early music, to go back to the Baroque and earlier, and to explore links between different parts of the song repertoire that have developed over time. In song, there’s naturally a relationship between music and literature, but we wanted to expand such connections to embrace the visual arts, philosophy, any subject really.”

Soraya Mafi.jpgSoraya Mafi

Inevitably, some of Sholto’s initial plans for such interdisciplinary conversations and interactions have been compromised by the global pandemic, but in other ways the necessity of delivering a Festival online has opened up new opportunities, and the range and scope of this year’s events and performances is astonishing. One strand that caught my eye is the focus on Hafez, the 14th-century Persian poet, and his reception and influence on both western literature and art-song across the centuries. Following a study event, Hafez and Persian Poetry in Song - in which Dominic Brookshaw, Fellow in Persian at Wadham College, will introduce Hafez and the intricate ghazal form in which he wrote; Francesca Leoni, Assistant Keeper and Curator of Islamic Art at the Ashmolean Museum will reveal some of the treasures of the Museum’s collection; British-Iranian composer Soosan Lolavar, Professor of Composition at Trinity Laban Conservatoire, will discuss Iranian musical traditions; and British-Iranian soprano Soraya Mafi will performs songs by Schubert, Schumann and Wolf, and a setting of Rumi, ‘Heart Snatcher’, by the young Iranian composer Mahdis Kashani - bass-baritone Michael Mofidian and pianist Jâms Coleman will perform a programme which includes settings by Schumann of Rückert and texts from Goethe’s West-East Divan, both heavily influenced by Hafez, as well as songs by Brahms setting Georg Daumer’s translations of Hafez and four Russian translations set by Nikolai Tcherepnin.

Michael Mofidian.jpgMichael Mofidian

After a second study event, exploring translations such as Goethe’s West-Eastern Divan, which have been set by many composers, and a discussion about the way in which Hafez has continued to inspire composers - such as Karol Szymanowski and Sally Beamish - during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the Hafez day will culminate with a recital by Ian Bostridge, this year’s artist-in-residence, and Julius Drake in the Holywell Music Room, including settings of Rückert by Schubert and Mahler, some of Wolf’s Goethe settings, and selections from Hans Werner Henze’s Songs from the Arabian, which was written for Bostridge in 1996.

Bostridge, Ian C Sim Canetty-Clarke.jpgIan Bostridge © Sim Canetty-Clarke.

Why Hafez? Sholto’s interest in Muslim-Western cultural encounters in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was initially sparked when he attended a lecture at Oxford’s Persian Institute. He points out that the ghazal form was written to be sung, and a little research reveals that nineteenth-century Orientalists such as Sir William Jones - the ‘father’ of Persian studies in the West, who translated Persian, Arabic and Turkish poetry into English, French and Latin - responded to both the Romantic sensibility of his poetry, its beauty, wildness and sublimity, and to its musicality: ‘The wildness and simplicity of Persian Song pleased me, so much that I have attempted to translate it in verse […] I have, as nearly as possible, imitated the cadence and accent of the Persian measure, from which every reader, who understands music, will perceive that the Asiatic numbers are as capable of a regular measure as any air in Metastasio.’ Sholto’s reference to Hafez as “a sort of Shakespeare-figure in Iran” makes me wonder whether Jones’ translations had a similar impact on the development of ideas and literature as translations of Shakespeare did on French and German Romantics. The events will, he says, explore “eight centuries of the reception of Hafez”.

Soosan Lolavar pic.jpgSoosan Lolavar.

The Great Debate, led by Paul Smith, Director of Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History, promises similarly broad and diverse cultural discussion and engagement. In the context of considering the significance, past and present, of the ‘religion versus science’ debate initiated by Darwin’s concept of evolution by natural selection - and in the very room, the Huxley Room, which on 30th June 1860 hosted the ‘Huxley-Wilberforce Debate’ - the ways in which these ideas influenced both the general outlook and choice of song texts of Elgar and Chausson will be explored. “The influence of nature on composers is well-known,” says Sholto, “but the context of the exploration of new land, advanced travel, and growing understanding of the natural world were strong influences at that time. If anything, the arguments between Darwinists and tradition theologians made the natural world even more miraculous as there was increasing awareness of the complexity of nature.”

Holywell.jpgThe Holywell Music Room.

These are ‘big ideas’, and Sholto is aware that hour-long study events can only scratch the surface. “But, we wanted to draw on being in Oxford, particularly this year when the digital festival has the potential to reach a much larger audience. We can champion art-song. It’s been 20 years of hard slog, getting people through the doors to hear a song recital. Chamber music festivals have an existing audience that can be relied upon, but with song it’s a struggle.” When asked why this is so, Sholto suggests it’s because audiences find art-song recitals and their ‘etiquette’ slightly intimidating. Recent research into ‘audience experience’ yielded some interesting findings. “Six ‘culturally aware non-attendees’ - who regularly attended theatre, exhibitions and other musical events, but who had consciously decided that song was not for them - were ‘bribed’ to agree to attend at least five OLF concerts and then asked to write up their experience. All said they would come back in the future. One said that it was only at their fourth concert that that realised it was acceptable to look at the singer.” It’s disconcerting, Sholto says, to be so close to a performer, who “looks you in the eye and pours their heart out”, and “it can be unnerving to see someone emote and communicate, and feel with you.”

Sholto-Kynoch-Piano.jpgSholto Kynoch

Not only will larger audiences be reached, but this year’s OLF events will take place in a wider range of venues in and around Oxford - Broughton Castle, the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library, Trinity College, the Upper Library in Queen’s College, Merton College Chapel, Oxford’s Botanical Gardens. Sholto had hoped to livestream all the performances and events, but the challenges in making the study events fully live proved unassailable. That said, 30 out of 40 events are fully live, and the ten study events all have an element of live interaction; these are pre-recorded but will be framed by live discussions with the speakers before and after the event. As Sholto says, “With a digital Festival, it’s not possible to meet in person, but audiences can still ‘meet’ performers, and perhaps in ways not possible in formal concert situations.”

Indeed, the digital world has opened up new possibilities and will undoubtedly lead to richer experiences in the future, when ‘normal’ concert-going life hopefully resumes. The April 2020 Spring Festival had to be cancelled, but OLF were able to present online recorded interviews with singers: in these early days of lockdown, Sholto laughs, “there were no production values at all … but people loved it. It was fantastic being able to ‘meet’ with a favourite singer in their living room for a chat.”

Rowan Pierce.jpgRowan Pierce

Another initiative this year is that each evening recital will begin with a short group of Schubert songs performed by singers - including Fleur Barron, Rowan Pierce, Nardus Williams, William Morgan, among others - who have begun forging successful careers in the last few years, “carving their way up the ladder”, but who have been very hard hit by the current crisis in the performing arts. In total, 110 artists have been engaged for the Festival, even though it is “half the size of normal”: “We’re proud and pleased to be providing work for people in this desperate time.”

OLF’s outreach and educational work has also been affected by the pandemic. A project involving primary schools, which saw small numbers of students working to create their own song cycle, was on the cusp of expansion: “we wanted to keep the integrity of the close contact with groups of five or six students, but also enlarge the reach, and planned to work with an entire school, making six or seven visits over two terms, working towards a whole-school concert presenting words and music that the students had produced themselves.” Online activities are still ongoing, and visits should resume in January 2021, though the project has been necessarily scaled back.

Julius Drake006 Marco Borggreve.jpgJulius Drake © Marco Borggreve.

And, looking ahead, what of next spring, and of OLF’s 20th anniversary events next year? Covid-19 has inevitably impacted present and future plans. This year’s Festival features no large ensembles - though The Hermes Experiment and the Orlando Consort perform late night concerts - or two-singer recitals. A winter residential course has been cancelled. Sholto confesses that he is six months behind in terms of planning: there was so much extra work for this year’s Festival, “the whole programme had to be rethought, everything had to be learned from scratch and involved complicating factors - filming, streaming.”

But, a glance at the singers and musicians whom we will be able to hear between 10th-17th October - Ian Bostridge, Roderick Williams, Carolyn Sampson, Lucy Crowe, James Gilchrist, Sarah Connolly, Alessandro Fisher, Benjamin Appl, Robin Tritschler, Ashley Riches, Julius Drake, Joseph Middleton, Christopher Glynn, Anna Tilbrook, Graham Johnson, Saskia Giorgini, Simon Lepper, Sean Shibe, Hélène Clément, Elizabeth Kenny, Imogen Cooper, and Sholto himself - will surely restore any song- and music-lover’s spirits.

Claire Seymour

The 2020 Oxford Lieder Festival runs from 10th-17 th October. Festival and Day Passes, and Single Event Tickets can be purchased here .

Bampton Classical Opera returns to the Baroque splendour of London’s St John’s Smith Square on November 6 with a concert performance of Gluck’s one-act opera The Crown, the first in the UK since 1987. The performance will also be filmed and available to watch on demand on the Bampton website from 9 November.

Christoph Willibald Gluck: The Crown (La corona, 1765)
Azione teatrale , in one act, sung in Italian with linking English narration

Meleagro - Harriet Eyley
Atalanta - Samantha Louis-Jean
Climene - Lisa Howarth
Asteria - Lucy Anderson

Narrator - Rosa French
Orchestra - CHROMA
Conductor - Robert Howarth

Concert Performance:
St John’s Smith Square, London: 7.30pm Friday 6 November, 2020

Composed in 1765 The Crown (La corona) glories in the sensuous beauty and virtuosity of the soprano voice. It was written for four Viennese Archduchesses, daughters of the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and the formidable Empress Maria Theresa, young singers for whom Gluck had already composed his delectable Il parnaso confuso, performed by Bampton in 2014. Both works set words by Pietro Metastasio and were destined for imperial family celebrations at the Hapsburg court theatre, although La corona was abandoned due to the Emperor’s death. In Bampton’s performance the florid arias - as thrilling as anything by Handel - will be sung in Italian, linked by a narration in English. Early music specialist Robert Howarth conducts, making his Bampton debut, and an outstanding cast includes Lucy Anderson, first prize-winner of the 2019 Bampton Young Singers’ Competition. The performance adds to Bampton’s noteworthy exploration of rarely-performed operas by Gluck, one of the most significant and melodious of eighteenth-century masters.

In his almost countless libretti, which made him the most popular of operatic poets in the first half of the 18th century, Metastasio plundered the classical myths for stories of valour and love.The Crown, like many others, derives from a story in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Meleagro, Prince of Calydonia, gathers a troupe of brave heroes to hunt and slaughter the ferocious wild boar which has been sent by the goddess Diana to devastate his realm. The opera however is concerned not with masculine prowess and bravery but with the role and ambitions of women. Atalanta, Climene and Asteria debate whether to join the chase, angry that only men can have the honour of gaining the crown of victory. When they consult Meleagro, he says the task is men’s work and warns that they will endanger themselves. Nevertheless, the girls cannot hold back: Atalanta wounds the boar and Meleagro is able to kill it. Each is reticent to accept the crown: in the end they offer it to the Emperor Francis, in whose honour the opera was commissioned.

The opera’s première at Schönbrunn Palace was planned for 4 October 1765 to celebrate the name-day of the Emperor Francis; it was intended as a surprise spectacle, commissioned by his wife. Unfortunately all the efforts of composition and preparation were to no avail, as the Emperor died unexpectedly on 18 August, and the project was entirely dropped. Fortunately manuscripts survive and it had a few performances in the later twentieth century. Bampton’s performance now is the first in this country since 1987.

The Crown opens with a three-movement Overture, followed by six arias of varied colour and character, a duet and a concluding ‘chorus’.

Although Gluck often reused music from his earlier works, all of the music for La corona was composed afresh. The dynamic Allegro which concludes the overture reappeared in a new guise five years later in the overture for Paris and Helen and as part of the final radiant duet for those love-struck and ill-fated characters. The concert on 6 November 2020 was originally planned to be a performance of Paris and Helen, marking the 300th anniversary of the Vienna premiere of that larger-scale opera on 3 November 1770, a project sadly prevented - or, at least, postponed - by the strict distancing requirements necessitated by the coronavirus epidemic. Bampton will perform Paris and Helen in full in 2021.

Bampton Classical Opera enjoys a national reputation for its passionate and enlightened discoveries of rare late 18th-century operas, sung in lively new translations. Amongst these have been UK premières of BertoniOrfeo, Isouard Cendrillon, Marcos PortugalThe Marriage of Figaro, Paer Leonora, BendaRomeo and Juliet, Gluck Il Parnaso confuso, Bauci e Philemon and Salieri Falstaff. The company works with some of the finest emerging young professional singers and stages productions in rural venues in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire as well as regularly in London at St John’s Smith Square. Other significant venues and festivals have included Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room, Buxton Festival, Cheltenham Festival and Theatre Royal Bath. Bampton Classical Opera encourages a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, and with ticket prices being excellent value, their performances provide an ideal introduction to anyone unaccustomed to opera.

Bampton Classical Opera’s 2019 production of Stephen Storace Bride and Gloom (Gli sposi malcontenti) has been shortlisted for an International Opera Award/Rediscovered Work Category.

Booking information (booking opens Wednesday 23 September)
7.30pm, 6 November, St John’s Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA
The performance is approximately 50 mins - 1 hour, no interval

There are 140 socially-distanced tickets available - full price £28, under-18’s £8.
(The performance is subject to developing government constraints)

Performance filmed ‘as live’ and available on demand from November 9 via Price: £8.

When Wexford Festival Opera realised that the pandemic meant that they would be re-imagining this year’s Festival, Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi reached out to Andrew. She asked him if he would create a new opera to premiere as part of Waiting for Shakespeare …The Festival in the air, which audiences could enjoy online this October.

Written intensely over three months, What Happened to Lucrece was created with an online audience in mind and has three different endings. This new opera by composer and artist-in-residence at Wexford Festival Opera, Andrew Synnott, is based on Shakespeare’s narrative poem, The Rape of Lucrece, about the legendary Roman noblewoman Lucretia.

What Happened to Lucrece will be sung in English by four singers and piano, and will be performed on three separate evenings. Each performance will have a different ending; one tragic, one farcical and one romantic. Viewers are invited to vote on their preferred ending.

The creative credits include: Libretto by: Alessandra Binucci and Rosetta Cucchi. Conductor: Andrew Synnott, Pianist Giorgio D’Alonzo, Director/Designer: Rosetta Cucchi, Lighting Designer: Eoin McNinch.

The opera will be performed by four members of the Wexford Factory, a professional development academy for young Irish/Irish-based singers where participants are being tutored by some of the most celebrated professionals in opera today. The four singers in the cast will be Sarah Richmond (playing Lucrece), Rory Musgrave (in the role of Sextus), Sarah Shine (playing Fran) , Kathleen Norchi (as Collatline).

Thanks to a partnership with RTÉ audiences can experience all three endings of What Happened to Lucrece from 13th - 15th Oct, streamed at 8pm daily on Miss an episode? Catch up on RTE Player and on RTÉ Player’s exclusive Wexford Festival Opera pop-up channel.

This October audiences across Ireland and around the world will have a chance to experience a taste of the magic of Wexford Festival Opera at home. Wexford Festival Opera, RTÉ and ARTE have joined forces once again to ensure that every magical moment will be available for audiences to enjoy for free from the comfort and safety of their own home. To see the full programme and how you can experience it at home go to

Wexford Festival Opera would also like to thank the Arts Council, Wexford County Council, Fáilte Ireland/Ireland’s Ancient East and the Festival’s Friends, sponsors and donors.

It is only through their invaluable support that Wexford Festival Opera can, in turn continue to reach out on a global scale to enrich, entertain and enlighten audiences during these uncertain times.

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