Factfile: English Touring Opera
Ahead of their Linbury residency, we take a look at the country's foremost touring opera company.
English Touring Opera (ETO) are to present a trio of works in the Linbury as part of their Autumn tour.
‘The company will stage Britten’s comic classic Albert Herring; a pairing of Victor Ullmann’s jazz-tinged black comedy The Emperor of Atlantis and Bach’s sublime cantata Christ lag in Todesbanden; and Peter Maxwell Davies’ ghostly thriller The Lighthouse. Ticket-holders to the Ullmann/Bach evening can also attend the inaugural performances of Towards an Unknown Port, a new song cycle by Helen Chadwick, as part of ETO’s programme of free events for ticket-holders before the performances. The songs will feature lyrics adapted from poems written by children in the Terezín concentration camp, alongside children’s accounts of the Balkans conflicts.
The upcoming ETO residency is the latest example of ROH2 working with other companies to further the artforms of opera and ballet as well as share skills through collaboration. Previous visiting companies include Opera East, Music Theatre Wales, The Opera Group and Ballet Black.
The country’s foremost touring opera company since their formation in 1979 under the name Opera 80, ETO have long been a proving ground for up-and-coming artists and directors. Singers whose careers began with the company include Sarah Connolly and Jonathan Veira. ETO also staged early work from the likes of Richard Jones, whose production of Gloriana will be on the main stage later in the season, and Robert Carsen, who recently directed Falstaff at Covent Garden.
ETO adopt a hands-on approach to their work with Chief Executive James Conway also directing some of their shows. As part of their Linbury residency, James will be directing The Emperor of Atlantis.
View pictures from rehearsals ahead of ETO’s residency:
The company also have a strong education output and current projects include a project with the National Portrait Gallery, inspiring operatic responses from primary school pupils to artworks in the gallery’s collections, as well as a new opera for children based upon the story of Laika – the first animal in space.
English Touring Opera will be resident in the Linbury from 4 – 13 October 2012. As part of their Autumn tour they will also visit Cambridge, Exeter, Tunbridge Wells, Harrogate, Bath, Aldeburgh, Malvern and Buxton.