English National Opera to reprise its 5* production of Paul Bunyan at the historic Alexandra Palace Theatre

The new venue follows the ‘inspired choice’ (Bachtrack) of
Wilton’s with another painstakingly restored Victorian music hall.
‘London’s oldest new theatre’ was reopened in December 2018, the interior
retaining the charm of the original 1875 hall but with the facilities to
put on the most sophisticated new productions. The £23m restoration’s
opening was widely praised, with the BBC declaring it ‘like walking into a

Paul Bunyan
, an ENO Studio Live production, is a parable on the American Dream from
Benjamin Britten and WH Auden, telling the story of the eponymous giant as
he builds a lumber farm with a sprawling cast of accomplices. Seldom
performed, its
first ENO staging in 2018
was called ‘an exhilarating
experience’ (5* The Mail on Sunday) ‘thrilling’ (The Guardian) and ‘a joyful spectacle’ ( The Daily Telegraph).

Jamie Manton returns to direct along with many of the original cast. ENO
Harewood Artists Elgan Ll?r Thomas (‘particularly lovely singing’ –The Daily Telegraph) and Rowan Pierce (‘captivating’ – The Daily Express) reprise their roles as Johnny Inkslinger and
Tiny respectively.

Zwakele Tshabalala takes the role of Hot Biscuit Slim in his second ENO
performance after forming part of the Porgy and Bess ensemble in
2018. ENO Harewoood Artist Alex Otterburn also makes his second ENO
appearance after singing Squibby in the world premiere of Iain Bell’s Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel. Former ENO Harewood
Artist Barnaby Rea, last seen as Iolanthe’s Private Willis in
2018, takes the role of Ben Benny the cook.

The ENO Chorus (‘triple threats to a man’ – The Spectator) return
to the secondary roles they filled with ‘boundless skill and personality’ ( The Stage)the first time round. Simon Russell Beale reprises his
pre-recorded performance as Paul.

ENO Chorus Master James Henshaw conducts his second ENO production, having
made his conducting debut in 2017 with another Studio Live production, The Day After.

ENO Studio Live is part of ENO Outside, which takes ENO’s work to
arts-engaged audiences that may not have considered opera before,
presenting the immense power of opera in more intimate studio and theatre
environments. Other venues the company has appeared at include Hackney
Empire, Regent’s Park Outdoor Theatre and The Gate Theatre, Notting Hill.

Performances will take place on the 9, 10, 11 (matinee and evening
performance), 13 May.

Tickets will go on sale on the 8 (priority booking) and 11 February (public
booking) (eno.org, 020 7845

product_id= Above: Aerial view of Alexandra Palace