Rory Kinnear to make directorial debut as part of ENO’s 2016/17 season
Rory Kinnear will make his directorial debut as part of English National Opera’s new season, which will also see the organisation partner with venues including the Hackney Empire.
ENO has also vowed to increase the number of productions it presents over the next three years, rising from 11 this year to a minimum of 15 by 2018/19.
Kinnear will direct a new opera based on The Winter’s Tale, written by composer Ryan Wigglesworth, which will run at ENO in February next year.
The actor said he was “giddy with excitement” about directing for ENO, which he described as the place where his “love for the art form took hold”.
ENO’s 2016/17 season also includes a new production of Berg’s Lulu, directed by William Kentridge, while Richard Jones will direct a new production of Don Giovanni.
Revivals planned for the new season include Mike Leigh’s The Pirates of Penzance, which first ran last year. It returns to ENO in February next year for 16 performances.
Jonathan Miller’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado will also be revived, however it will play at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool in the summer next year.
This production forms part of ENO’s summer season of work outside of the Coliseum, as it implements a new model of producing work that will see its own in-house line-up divided into spring and autumn seasons.
The summer season of work outside of the Coliseum will also see it work with the Hackney Empire and the Southbank Centre next year.
With Hackney Empire, ENO will produce the European premiere of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, a chamber opera that tells the story of African American bebop pioneer, Charlie Parker.
With the Southbank Centre, ENO will stage Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius next summer, with more information about the wider plans for the two organisations announced shortly.
ENO programming director Bob Holland said forging new partnerships enabled ENO to present a “broader way of operatic repertoire than ever before”.
He added that this season marked the beginning of a number of new partnerships, “with discussions well advanced with more organisations that we are looking to work with in the long term”.
Holland said this would help bring opera to new audiences.
In future seasons, ENO said there would be 10 works at the Coliseum in London, with at least five other productions in places outside of the London venue.
This will allow ENO to rent out the venue during summer months to drive revenue as it grapples with reduced Arts Council England funding.
ENO will also this year stage a gala evening to celebrated director Miller. Marvellous Miller – A Celebration of Jonathan Miller at ENO will take place in November.
Speaking at the launch of the new season, Pollock admitted that the last few months had been “extraordinarily testing” for the company, which has seen it threatened with strike action from chorus members.
However, she said the new season marked a “change” for the company and added that new artistic director Daniel Kramer would help “heal” the organisation.