In September 2019, The Royal Opera will present performances of David
McVicar’s sumptuous staging of Charles-FranÁois Gounod’s masterpiece Faust, and of Keith Warner’s psychologically probing and moving
production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Shakespeare-inspired opera Otello.
All performances are conducted by The Royal Opera’s Music Director Antonio
opens the tour on Thursday 12 September 2019 and features a cast including
Italian tenor Vittorio GrigÚlo in the title role, Italian bass-baritone
Ildebrando D’Arcangelo as his diabolic companion MÈphistophÈlËs and
American soprano Rachel Willis-S¯rensen as Faust’s lover Marguerite. The
production was last performed by The Royal Opera in April 2019.
The opera tells the story of the philosopher Faust’s ill-considered pact
with the devil MÈphistophÈlËs, who offers him youth and the love of the
beautiful Marguerite, in exchange for the philosopher’s soul. All too soon,
Faust realizes that his quest for pleasure may have disastrous
This production sets the action in Paris in the early 1870s, draws
parallels between the experiences of Gounod and Faust, and revels in the
opera’s gothic elements. Themes of love, betrayal and the battle between
good and evil are brought to life through the spectacular set designs of
Charles Edwards, elegant costume designs by Brigitte Reiffenstuel and
atmospheric lighting design by Paule Constable. David McVicar’s staging is
revived by Bruno Ravella. The vigorous original choreography by Michael
Keegan-Dolan is revived for this run by Emmanuel Obeya.
Verdi’s penultimate opera
opens on Saturday 14 September 2019 and features a cast including American
tenor Gregory Kunde in the title role, Armenian soprano Hrachuhi Bassenz as
Desdemona and Canadian bass-baritone Gerald Finley as Iago. The production
was last seen at the Royal Opera House in June 2017.
Designer Boris Kudli?ka’s semi-abstract sets and Kaspar Glarner’s period
costumes highlight the contrasting innocence of Desdemona and malevolence
of Iago, while Bruno Poet’s lighting designs reflect Otello’s increasingly
troubled emotions. Warner sensitively examines the relationships between
Moors, Turks and Westerners in Shakespeare’s time, and shows how Otello
feels an outsider in his society, which contributes to his loss of
confidence and gradual mental collapse. For this run of performances, Keith
Warner’s staging is revived by Royal Opera Staff Director Julia Burbach.
Faust opens the tour at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan in Ueno Park on 12 September
2019, with subsequent performances on 15 and 18 September 2019. The
production also visits Kanagawa Kenmin Hall in Yokohama on 22 September
2019. Otello opens at Kanagawa Kenmin Hall on 14 September 2019, with an
additional performance on 16 September 2019, and visits Tokyo Bunka Kaikan
on 21 and 23 September 2019.
product_title=The Royal Opera tours to Japan in September 2019
product_id=Above: Faust, Act II, The Royal Opera (2011)
Photo credit: Catherine Ashmore