Saturday, 3 May 2014

Today : world première performance of Julian Anderson's 'Thebans' in London

Today, Saturday May 3rd, 2014, Thebans, the new opera composed by Julian Anderson, will be performed for the first time in London Coliseum, home of the English National Opera.

Inspired by Sophocles's Theban plays, the libretto in English by Frank McGuinness, is a story of incest, political ambition, love and loyalty that follows the fate of Oedipus and his daughter Antigone.

Sophocles's three Theban plays (Oedipus tyrannus, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone) have been adapted to the lyrical stage several times by composers including Igor Stravinsky, George Enescu, Harry Partch, Antonio Sacchini, Giuseppe Maria Orlandini, Carl Orff, Niccolo Antonio Zingarelli, Arthur Honegger, Richard Strauss and Johann Christian Friedrich Haeffner.

The cast is the following :

Edward Gardner (conductor), Pierre Audi (director), Roland Wood (Oedipus, baritone), Peter Hoare (Creon, tenor), Julia Sporsén (Antigone, soprano), Matthew Best (Tiresias, bass), Susan Bickley (Jocasta, mezzo), Christopher Ainslie (Messenger and King Theseus, countertenor), Anthony Gregory (Haemon, tenor), Jonathan McGovern (Polynices, baritone).

The orchestra is quite a large one : -, 5 percussionist, harp, piano, synthesizer, celesta and strings. The scores and parts are available from Faber Music publishers.

A recording is to be broadcast by BBC Radio 3 on Monday May 26th.

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