PREVIEW: The Dead City, English National Opera, London Coliseum

The production will run from the 25th March until the 25th March until the 8th April.

(c)Iain Crockart

After making her ENO directorial debut with the gripping new production of The Handmaid’s Tale last year, Annilese Miskimmon (the ENO’s Artistic Director) directs the new production of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s The Dead City (Die tote Stadt). This new production will feature a new translation by Kelley Rourke. 

Recently bereaved, Paul is haunted by visions of his deceased wife, Marie. But when he meets the all-too-familiar Marietta, the lines between past and present blur, and reality itself is called into question. Moving on is impossible when presented with the implausible.

The opera was composed in in 1920 post-war Europe, when Korngold was 23 and went to become known as his strongest operatic work. The opera was adapted from Georges Rodenbach’s 1892 novel Bruges-la-Morte, which was then adapted by librettist Paul Schott – a pseudonym for Erich and Julius Korngold, the father and son duo who wrote the libretto together.

This production will see Swiss tenor Rolf Romei who is performing the role of Paul who along with British soprano Allison Oakes who is performing the role of Marietta are making their English National Opera debuts. They are joined by Dame Sarah Connolly, who returns to the ENO to play the role of Brigitta, Audun Iversen is singing the roles of Frank/Fritz, Rhian Lois as Juliette, Clare Presland as Lucienne, William Morgan as Victorin, Innocent Masuku as Gastone.

Meanwhile, leading the ENO Orchestra, expanded to 88 musicians, is Ukrainian Conductor Kirill Karabits. Karabits is a Chief Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and is returning to the London Coliseum following his ENO debut in 2010 for Rufus Norris’ Don Giovanni.  

Annilese Miskimmon, Director and ENO’s Artistic Director, said: ‘I am delighted to bring Korngold’s rarely performed cult classic The Dead City (Die tote Stadt) to life at the London Coliseum with a world-class group of singers and musicians. With the help of Korngold’s cinematic score, we will be taking new audiences and our ENO regulars to the romantic world this groundbreaking composer has created.’ 

The creative team behind the production includes: Miriam Buether is the Set Designer, Nicky Gillibrand is the Costume Designer, James Farncombe is the Lighting Designer, and Imogen Knight is the Movement Director and Intimacy Coordinator. 

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