In 2021 Opera Holland Park unveiled a reimagined auditorium and performance space to reflect the natural beauty of the theatre’s setting and to allow for social distancing. Constructed from reclaimed and sustainable materials and designed in collaboration with takis, it was described in The Guardian as ‘a well-nigh ideal solution’ to the challenges imposed by the pandemic.
In 2022 the total capacity will remain flexible at approximately 700 seats with improved sightlines and additional levels, using the same footprint and aesthetic. Sustainability informs every aspect of the theatre, with food and drink predominantly sourced from independent companies within a 50 mile radius of Holland Park for purchase by patrons.
Five new productions to celebrate the return of summer
New productions of the classic nineteenth-century tragedies Eugene Onegin and Carmen take us from the palaces of St Petersburg to the streets of Seville. The UK premiere of Mark Adamo’s 1998 opera Little Women leads to progressive New England, where Jo March recalls her first love in the shadow of the American Civil War. A double bill of Delius’s Parisian melodrama Margot la Rouge and Puccini’s Gothic fantasy Le Villi contrasts a crime of passion with supernatural punishment, while a co-production of HMS Pinafore with Charles Court Opera proves that no one can mock English mores more successfully than the English themselves. The City of London Sinfonia returns as resident orchestra for all five productions.
Director Julia Burbach, conductor Lada Valešová and designer takis head the creative team for Eugene Onegin, with a cast including Anush Hovhannisyan (Tatyana), Samuel Dale Johnson (Onegin) and Thomas Atkins (Lensky). An internationally acclaimed Tatyana, the great lyric soprano Amanda Roocroft makes her role debut as Larina, Tatyana’s mother, in this exquisite new production of a classic story of innocence and experience.
Former Opera Holland Park Young Artist Cecilia Stinton directs Carmen, with Kezia Bienek in the title role and Oliver Johnston as Don José. Alison Langer plays Micaëla, with Thomas Mole as Escamillo. Conductor Lee Reynolds makes his company debut alongside the Spanish choreographer Isabel Baquero in a vibrant, clear-sighted and provocative reading of the opera.
Acclaimed as a modern masterpiece in America, Mark Adamo’s tender 1998 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s coming-of-age novel Little Women receives its UK premiere, focusing on the love between the four March sisters. Sian Edwards conducts, with Ella Marchment making her company debut as director. The March sisters are played by Charlotte Badham (Jo), Kitty Whately (Meg), Harriet Eyley (Beth) and Elizabeth Karani (Amy).
Delius’s only verismo opera, a scalding reunion between two former lovers in a Parisian dive, and Puccini’s Gothic fantasy of supernatural revenge in a German forest are contrasted in a double bill of Margot la Rouge and Le Villi. Directed by Martin Lloyd-Evans and conducted by Francesco Cilluffo, French soprano Anne Sophie Duprels plays Delius’s Margot and Puccini’s Anna. Tenors Samuel Sakker and Peter Auty, and baritones Paul Carey Jones and Stephen Gadd, play opposite Duprels in the two operas, while Laura Woods, George von Bergen and Laura Lolita Perešivana lead the supporting ensemble of soldiers, drinkers, thieves and prostitutes in the Delius.
A new co-production between Opera Holland Park and Charles Court Opera of Gilbert and Sullivan’s tart and toe-tapping naval satire, HMS Pinafore, brings the 2022 Season to an uproarious close. Director John Savournin takes the role of Captain Corcoran opposite Richard Burkhard’s Sir Joseph Porter and Peter Kirk’s Ralph Rackstraw, with design by Madeleine Boyd and lighting design by Jake Wiltshire.
Nurturing new talent
Thirteen alumni of the acclaimed Opera Holland Park Young Artists scheme return as principal artists in the 2022 Season, including the conductor Lada Valešová (Eugene Onegin), the director Cecilia Stinton (Carmen), and singers Charlotte Badham, Jack Holton, Alison Langer, Thomas Mole and Emma Stannard.
There will be three performances of Eugene Onegin in the 2022 Season from this year’s cohort of Young Artists: conductor Hannah von Wiehler, director Emma Black, répétiteur Alina Sorokina, and singers Lucy Anderson, Rory Musgrave and Jack Roberts.
First seen at Holland Park in 2021, British Youth Opera returns, taking participants through the process of putting on a full-scale opera production, kick-starting careers for young singers as well as creative, technical, and other behind-the-scenes roles. In a season full of dance, from the seguidilla to the polonaise, The Royal Ballet School also returns for its first summer residency since 2019.
Opera in Song
Curated by Julien van Mellaerts and Dylan Perez, the Opera in Song series returns with an expanded programme of six recitals to include a portrait of Carmen in song, a celebration of female composers and librettists, a survey of classic and classical American songs, and three programmes of Schubert song cycles given fresh contexts in poetry and music. Artists include Louise Alder, James Baillieu, Adèle Charvet, Francesca Chiejina, Kunal Lahiry, Simon Lepper, Gary Matthewman, Ema Nikolovska, Ella O’Neill, Alex Otterburn and Roderick Williams.
Additional performances in the calendar include a series of spoken word events, the return of Notting Hill Carnival, Waterperry Opera’s family-friendly reduction of Peter and the Wolf, Fifth Door Ensemble’s presentation of The Seven Deadly Sins and Bluebeard’s Castle, and the Holland Park debut of the period instruments ensemble, Figure, in a performance of Handel’s tree-hugging opera, Serse.
Working closely with the community
Despite a 30% reduction in capacity from its pre-pandemic level, Opera Holland Park will maintain its annual percentage of accessible and free tickets, including Free Tickets for Under 18s and Over 65s, and reduced tickets for NHS staff.
The 2022 Season sees the return of the Discovery Matinees. These performances are designed to welcome people who want to try opera out for the first time in a relaxed environment, and those who love opera but find the normal theatre-going experience inaccessible.
This year there will be two Schools’ Matinees: a full performance of Eugene Onegin on 15 June, and an introduction to opera and the instruments of the orchestra on 21 June. Workshops will be made available to those schools joining us for the Schools’ Matinees.
Opera Holland Park’s International Opera Award-winning outreach and education Inspire team is planning online and in person OperaUNITY sessions for families with children under the age of five or those with special educational needs, to complement Carmen, Eugene Onegin, Little Women and HMS Pinafore. This year’s collaboration with the Holland Park Ecology Centre is inspired by the legend of Le Villi and will feature an exploration of the woodland around the theatre.
Opera for Thought, an Inspire project designed for those living with dementia, will focus on Eugene Onegin, in collaboration with the Opera Holland Park Young Artists.
Further Inspire activities include a new Youth Choir initiative with the West London virtual schools, offering cultural engagement and enrichment to children from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and nearby boroughs through learning songs from the operas in the season, and creating new songs around the stories they tell.
Tickets for the 2022 Season will go on sale on the following dates. Tickets cost £10-£128.
General booking for all performances as part of the 2022 Season opens on Wednesday 6 April at 10am. Priority booking is available for OHP Members and Supporters – for more details please visit our website.
Inspire £22 tickets go on sale on Wednesday 13 April.
Free Ticket Schemes
Applications for Free Tickets for Under 18s will open on Wednesday 6 April at 10am.
Applications for Free Tickets for Over 65s for the 2022 Season open on Wednesday 26 January and close on Friday 8 April.
Since 2017 we have offered half price community tickets to staff of the NHS, London Ambulance Service, London Fire Service, Metropolitan Police and Armed Forces as well as teachers, social workers and carers from the Tri-Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea. Employees are eligible for half price, or two-for-one tickets for all of our 2022 Season productions.
For more information visit www.operahollandpark.com