Sunday night (April 13th) saw the leading lights of the modern stage descend on the Royal Opera House for the Olivier Awards, where English Touring Opera was recognised for its challenging productions.
The group was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Opera award for its season at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, which was described as “brave and challenging”.
Among these productions was Michael Tippett’s 1962 opera King Priam, which tells the story of the last days of the Trojan War from the point of view of the city’s elderly king. It is also interesting for its challenging roles for female performers, who are double cast as both human characters, including Helen of Troy, and goddesses.
February’s run at the Linbury Studio Theatre also featured a rare outing of Paul Bunyan. Though this piece is one of Benjamin Britten’s least-performed operas, it is notable as a perhaps unlikely collaboration between the composer and the well-known poet W.H. Auden. Both productions are still touring.
The awards are organised by Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and widely regarded as the highest honours that can be bestowed in British theatre.
“It’s a great honour for English Touring Opera’s work to be recognised by SOLT nominators and judges, especially in such august company,” says James Conway, general director at English Touring Opera.
“Our wonderful regional audiences recognise our work now, and that is hugely gratifying; to be noticed in London’s exciting theatre world is almost more than one could have hoped for.”
One other opera award is also bestowed at the ceremony, that of Best New Opera Production. This year, it went to Les Vêpres Siciliennes, a fresh staging of the Verdi classic at the Royal Opera House.
It fought off competition from English National Opera’s production of Wozzeck, the first opera by Austrian Alban Berg, as well as The Firework Maker’s Daughter, based on the short children’s novel by Philip Pullman and another show performed at the Linbury Studio Theatre.
Sunday night (April 13th) saw the leading lights of the modern stage descend on the Royal Opera House for the Olivier Awards, where English Touring Opera was recognised for its challenging productions. The group was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in…