Six New Operas Premiered in 2019

Six New Operas Premiered in 2019
Iain Bell's Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel © Alastair Muir

We've picked six new operas from the last year for you to explore...

L’Enigma di Lea (2018) 2 hr'
Benet Casablancas

Casablancas' first venture into the operatic world! Lea, a creature who has belonged to God and exists to serve the divine pleasure, lives in a place beyond time and cannot reveal her secret. The bearer of immortality, she is under surveillance from two monstrous beings who guarantee morality in opposition to individual freedom.

Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel (2019) 1 hr 15'
Iain Bell

A disadvantaged group of working-class women are drawn together in their determination to survive the murderous terror that stalks London’s Whitechapel in 1888. This, the fourth opera by Iain Bell, explores powerful themes of community and women struggling against the odds, posing questions about the hypocritical attitudes of ‘respectable’ society. The mythic status of the unidentified serial killer is addressed through a refreshingly modern lens, which speaks to us over a century after the events.

The Phoenix (2018) 2 hr 20'
Tarik O'Regan

Mozart's notorious librettist is reborn! — Lorenzo da Ponte led a scandalous life that rivaled the stories he committed to paper: Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, and The Marriage of Figaro. After becoming a priest and poet in Venice, he was banished when it was discovered that he had connections to many brothels and a secret family with two children. Luckily, he was introduced to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Austria. His new-found fame gained him access to the upper echelons of European society. Yet, after much success, Da Ponte found himself bankrupt and needing to flee once more. Tarik O'Regan has teamed up with the multi-Tony Award-winning director John Caird (Nicolas Nikleby, 1981 / Les Miserables,1987 / Jane Eyre, 2001) to track Da Ponte's fall from master-librettist to New York grocer and beyond.

Listen to a podcast of Tarik discussing the process of composing The Phoenix

Schlagt sie tot! (2017) 2 hr 30'
Bo Holten

Schlagt sie tot! is an opera about the Reformation and Martin Luther. It explores the dramatic events of the time period and puts Luther's theological uprisings in both a human and political perspective by portraying a world of violent change.

Stonewall (2019) 1 hr 15'
Iain Bell

Right off the back of Bell's fourth opera, comes his fifth, courtesy of a commission from the New York City Opera. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, Stonewall is a moving and explosive new American opera that captures the rage, grit, humor and, finally, hope of the LGBTQ community's resistance in the eponymous Greenwich Village dance club on one hot night in June 1969. The 85-minute work is divided into three parts and follows a diverse group of characters whose lives collide at that pivotal moment in history when the police push them too far and they find the courage to fight back.

The Thirteenth Child (2016) 1hr 30'
Poul Ruders

Forget about magic beans and bowls of porridge, this fairy tale is a 'down-to-the-wire' thriller, inspired by the Brothers Grimm. A paranoid king banishes his twelve sons in favour of Lyra, the thirteenth child. When Princess Lyra learns about her long-lost brothers, she embarks on a quest to find them. Like all the best fairy tales, it has an enchanted forest, riddles, a handsome prince, a horrible mistake, and a near-impossible feat for Princess Lyra to perform if everything is to be put right.

(March 2020)