Openings 2017

This January Oper Graz in Berlin presents La Rondine lit by Davy Cunningham and with costumes designed by Brigitte Reiffenstuel, opening January 12th. This is followed by  Rigoletto at the Fundacion Opera de Oviedo in Spain, opening January 26th, also lit by Davy Cunningham. In Australia Jon Clark lights a revived production of Krol Rodger for Opera Australia,  opening January 20th in Sydney. From January 2oth Opera di Firenze, Florence, is revives David McVicar’s Faust, designed by Charles Edwards and costumes by Brigitte Reiffenstuel.

In the UK this February, Wyn Davies conducts an Opera North tour of La Cenerentola (Cinderella), opening at the Leeds Grand Theatre on February 16th. Director Irina Brown presents a new production of Chigger Foot Boys with Strong Back Productions, opening at Tara Theatre February 24th. Jon Clark will be lighting a The Winters Tale for the English National Opera, premiering February 27th, while the National Theatre’s Amadeus, also lit by Clark, will be live streamed in cinemas across the UK from February 2nd.

On March 8th the Donmar Warehouse presents a new play, Limehouse, with sets designed by Alex Eales and lit by Jon Clark. Later in the month Alex Eales also designs 4.48 Psychose, staged at the Deutsches Schau Spiel Haus Hamburg, Germany, opening March 24th.

Charles Edwards will be returning to Coro do Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Portugal, to design Tristan und Isolde, opening March 9th.

Several shows are opening in the USA in early 2017, including the world premiere of The Invention of Morel, with libretto written and co-directed by Jonathan Moore, opening at The Chicago Opera Theatre on February 18th. At the Nashville Ballet Sergeant Early’s Dream, lit by John B Read, is being revived on February 9th, while the Royal Opera House’s Der Rosenkavalier will transfer to the Metropolitan Opera in April, featuring costumes by Brigitte Reiffenstuel.


Openings September onwards

Hard Times, the final show of the Pitlochry Festival season 2016 lit by Wayne Dowdeswell opens on September 1st, while This Happy Breed from the same season transfers to Yvonne Arnaud theatre in Guildford for seven performances between 18th and 22nd October.

In Shanghai, China, a new production of Falstaff opens on September 15th, with sets designed by Alex Eales, costumes by Mark Bouman and lighting by Davy Cunningham.

In Germany, a new production of The Tales of Hoffmann opens 18th September at the Wuppertaler Buhnen und Sinfonieorchester, designed and directed by Charles Edwards alongside directors Christopher Alden, Inga Levant und Nigel Lowery in a composite production.

Later in the month, Alex Eales designs a new production directed by Katie Mitchell:  Shadows: Eurydice Speaks at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin, opening 28thSeptember.

Kiss Me Kate (which premiered at the Paris Châtelet earlier this year) is transferring to the Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, opening October 15th. The production is directed by Lee Blakeley and features costumes designed by Brigitte Reiffenstuel, sets by Charles Edwards and lighting designed by Emma Chapman.

Over in the United States, the San Francisco opera 2016/17 season opens on September 9th with a revival of Andrea Chenier, featuring costumes designed by Jenny TiramaniAndrew George’s original choreography for the show is revived by Colm Seery.

Back in the UK there are several revivals opening this season including The Merchant of Venice at the Welsh National Opera, lit by Davy Cunningham opening 16th September. The Royal Opera House will be reviving productions La Fille Mal Gardee (opening 27th September) and Anastasia (25th October) both lit by John B. Read, and Les Contes d’Hoffmann, designed by William Dudley opening November 7th.

The hit production of The Commitments will be starting its UK tour on October 3rd, originally lit by Jon Clark. Later in the season he lights a new production of Amadeus for the National Theatre, opening October 26th, and Once In A Lifetime at the Young Vic, opening December 6th.

Andrew Lloyd Webbers classic Phantom of the Opera, lit by Andrew Bridge will be making appearances in Paris and Stockholm this autumn, opening at the Cirkus, Stockholm on 14 September and at the Mogador Theatre, Paris on October 13, 2016.

Der Rosenkavalier, with costumes designed by Tanya McCallin and choreography by Andrew George is being revived by Opera North, opening at the Leeds Grand Theatre September 17th

On October 30th a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor opens at the Theater Bonn, with costumes by Brigitte Reiffenstuel and sets by Charles Edwards.

William Dudley designs a new production of Comus, directed by Lucy Bailey at the Sam Wannamaker Playhouse, opening November 1st.

The Glyndebourne production of Carmen with original Choreography by Andrew George and fight design by Nicholas Hall travels to Goteborg, Sweden opening November 25th.

On December 4th a new production of Falstaff opens at Vienna Staatoper, with sets designed by Charles Edwards and movement direction by Leah Hausman.

Later in the month, Brigitte Reiffenstuel designs costumes for Der Rosenkavalier, opening at The Royal Opera House December 17th.

Finally, over Christmas, Natalia Stewart designs the pantomime Dick Whittington opening December 6th in Peterborough, Kate Flatt choreographs Beauty and the Beast at Watford Palace Theatre on Decmber 2nd. On December 10th, Cinderella opens at the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, lit by Wayne Dowdeswell.




Il barbiere di Siviglia to be broadcast to UK cinemas

Between 21st –28th June 2016 Glyndebourne’s sell out production Il barbiere di Siviglia will be broadcast to cinemas across the United Kingdom. Directed by Annabel Arden, with set and costumes designed by Joanna Parker, the production has been described as “sheer visual sophistication” by The Independent who awarded it 5 stars.

For more details on how to find a screening, please go to the Glyndebourne Website.

Watch the Trailer here:

Openings Summer 2016

Over the summer season Wyn Davies will be conducting two operas for the New Zealand Opera company, The Magic Flute, opening May 28th and La Traviata, from 14th July.

In the UK, The Philharmonia Orchestra opens an exploration of Stravinsky’s Journeys at the Royal Festival Hall on May 26th, directed by Irina Brown. Bill Dudley is designing a new production of Ross, Terence Rattigan’s 1960 play about T.E.Lawrence, opening 3rd June at the Chichester Festival Theatre and the ENO’s production of Jenufa opens 23rd June, with sets designed by Charles Edwards.

At the London Almeida Richard III opens June 14th, staring Ralph Fiennes and Vanessa Redgrave, with lighting by Jon Clark. Jon will also be lighting The Exterminating Angel in Salzburg, opening its world premiere July 28th (opening at the ROH, Metropolitan Opera and Det Kolongie Opera in 2017). Also in Salzburg, a new production of Cosi Fan Tutte opens 29th July, with costumes designed by Mark Bouman.

In Dublin, Davy Cunningham is lighting The Constant Wife for The Gate Theatre, opening 16th June, followed by Turandot at the Bregenz festival, opening 22nd July.

Finally, Chris Ellis will be lighting a reproduction of the Welsh National Opera’s The House of The Dead, opening at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland on 23rd July.

Openings Spring 2016

Hilary Davan Wetton will be conducting in the spring for the Last Night of the Spring Proms at the Royal Festival Hall on April 2nd.

At the Royal Opera House on Thursday 7th April a new production of Lucia Di Lammermoor opens at the Royal Opera House, with lighting by Jon Clark. Later in the spring Kenneth Macmillan’s The Invitation opens on May 28th, with lighting designed by John B Read.

At Glyndebourne there will be two consecutive openings, firstly Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg,  choreographed by Andrew George, opens on May 21st, followed by Il Barbiere di Siviglia, directed by Annabel Arden, with sets designed by Joanna Parker, opening on May 22nd.

Over in the US, Lee Blakeley directs a revival of the Paris Châtelet’s The King and I at the Lyric Opera Chicago, with costumes designed by Jean Marc-Puissant, opening on April 29th. This is followed by a new production of Macbeth for Opera Theatre St Louis, also directed by Lee Blakeley with sets designed by Alex Eales, and costumes by Mark Bouman, opening on May 28th.

Kiss Me Kate opening tonight in Paris

“What happens when an idea to adapt a Shakespeare play into a musical turns out to be a bit more complicated than one thought?

A famous director hires his ex-wife, with a strong personality, for the lead role in The Taming of the Shrew. There follows a series of romantic to-ing and fro-ing and amusing misadventures. One of the actors is pursued for his gambling debts right up to the stage by a bunch of gangsters.

It’s a play within a play in its finest form, carried by the wonderful songs of Cole Porter.”

Opening February 3rd 2016, Kiss Me Kate at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris is directed by Lee Blakeley, with costumes designed by Brigitte Reiffenstuel, sets by Charles Edwards and lighting by Emma Chapman.

More information

Openings to start 2016

A new production of Kiss Me Kate will be opening at Theatre du Châtelet, Paris, on 3 February, directed by Lee Blakeley, costumes designed by Brigitte Reiffenstuel, sets by Charles Edwards and lighting designed by Emma Chapman.

Back here in the UK a production of L’Etoile, lit by Jon Clark premieres 1 February at the Royal Opera House.

Over at the National Theatre a new production of Sarah Kane’s Cleansed, designed by Alex Eales, opens on 20 February. For the English National Opera, Charles Edwards has designed the set for a production of Norma, opening 17 February

In the United States, there will be several openings over the next few months, beginning with Madama Butterfly at the Los Angeles Opera on 12 March, directed by Lee Blakeley, costumes designed by Brigitte Reiffenstuel with sets by Jean Marc Puissant.

This will be followed by the opening of Roberto Devereux on 24 March at The Metropolitan Opera in New York, choreographed by Leah Hausman.

“Irresistible visceral power” Andrea Chénier opens to rave reviews

Andrea Chénier, directed by Annabel Arden with set and costumes designed by Joanna Parker, has opened to glowing reviews, being described as “a thrilling evening that richly deserved its enthusiastic reception” by The Telegraph. Giving the production 5 stars, they note that “Andrea Chénier exerts irresistible visceral power” and that “Arden focuses on the violence and paranoia of Robespierre’s Paris, drawing from the chorus and soloists strongly etched portraits of both its victims and persecutors.”

In another equally positive review, The Guardian admires Joanna Parker’s “dazzling costumes” nothing that they “suggest Jean-Paul Marat by way of Jean Paul Gaultier”.

Andrea Chénier plays at the Leeds Grand Theatre until February 24th, when it will tour the North of England, visiting Newcastle, Nottingham and Manchester.



Supported Voice, Supported Body, Supported text: A Workshop with Annabel Arden and Mary King

Supported Voice, Supported Body, Supported text.

Workshop with Mary King and Annabel Arden

Dates: October 5th and 6th

Times: 9am -6pm

Place: The Thanet Community Centre, Herbert Street London NW5  4HD

Cost:  £100 for one day; £180 if you attend both days

Maximum participants: We are hoping to limit this to a maximum of 15 students so that there is an optimum amount of time for both individual and group learning

For professional classical singers and aspiring professional singers. (Either at or about to embark on full time professional training, or recently graduated from University degree, and looking to attend Conservatoire)

Communicating voice and text, with totally connected physical support

The best singers communicate effortlessly at a sustained and expansive level. They are always “on the body” – and not singing “from the neck up” – but what does this mean? and can anyone achieve it? Annabel Arden and Mary King bring their combined expertise to explore the essential question “what is support?” , and help students grow to an understanding of how to unleash the power of their whole instrument, and  increase the freedom and expressive power of the voice through the same qualities in the body. Detailed text work will enable students to discover new techniques to increase range and precision of tone, colour and meaning.

The form of this workshop will be to integrate physical work as a group with individual attention paid to the specific need of each singer. This individual work is undertaken within the group’s presence, as learning can then be shared.

Annabel Arden is a co-founder of Theatre de Complicite and an internationally acclaimed director of Opera.  Working with young singers to achieve an optimum of theatrical expression with vocal excellence is of particular interest to her.  Please also see the following link;

Mary King worked for many years as a soloist across the opera houses and concert halls of the world. For 17 years she was associated with English National Opera, where she was Artistic Associate, and devised and ran the performance skills course The Knack, which ran for 12 years. She moved on to the Southbank Centre for 6 years as an artist in residence, setting up the big vocal initiative Voicelab. She has worked as a resident vocal coach and expert on numerous radio and TV programmes, including Operatunity; Musicality; Popstar to Operastar; BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. She has written a series of coaching books for Boosey and Hawkes (Singing in English; Singing in French; Singing in German)  and The Singer’s Handbook for Faber Music (in collaboration with Anthony Legge)

See also

The course is by application only, to apply please send a copy of your CV and a Cover Letter to:

We ask you to submit a CV, photograph and your choice of  two arias, which can be drawn from the entire operatic canon. However, it is best if the arias are.

-          Short ( there’s more time to work, if the aria is 3-5 minutes long, rather than 8minutes)

-          Fairly well-known repertoire, rather than rarities:  more group learning is possible when material is more familiar.

-          Well known to you ! You should be familiar with the accompaniment and not still at the “note bashing” stage.

-          They can be in any language, but if singing in a language that is not English, please prepare a translation which is word-for-word accurate, and not just a general overview of the content.

-          All students should know the context of the operatic aria, and details about the character they are playing

We will probably only work on one aria each, but it is good to have a choice

For any queries please reply to Rosalind Parker  at


The Song in a Dramatic Situation: A Workshop with Annabel Arden

The Song in a Dramatic Situation

Workshop with Annabel Arden

London. Monday 28th September – Friday 2nd October 2015

The workshops will run each day 10.00-15.00

Course Fee: £250.00

This workshop is for performers in all forms of theatre and opera, aimed at anyone who is interested in how to use music as  an integral part of the theatrical experience.  More specifically the workshop will focus on how to integrate  a song seamlessly in a dramatic situation. Rhythm, melody, speech into song will all be things we play with.  You do not need to be a “good” singer, only to love music and song.

In this workshop we will prepare physically and vocally, and then look at different kinds and forms of songs and how they arise in theatrical contexts. Some spoken texts, specifically Shakespeare and Chekhov will also be part of the work.

Participants should be prepared to come with an unaccompanied song they are able to sing solo as well as a simple, short song to teach to the group, preferably a folk song or similar. These songs can be in any language, and ideally they should have a strong form in themselves, without their instrumental backing.

The course is by application only, to apply please send a copy of your CV and a Cover Letter to:

For a short biography of Annabel Arden, please see the following link;

Performing Arts, 6 Windmill Street, London, W1T 2JB | map >