English Touring Opera new season announced

English Touring Opera (ETO) has announced its Autumn tour as an exploration of themes of love, power and how the two interact.

There will be two brand-new productions of Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea and Rossini’s

The first tour to be programmed by General Director Robin Norton-Hale since taking up
the role in January this year, this ambitious season brings fresh perspectives to these operas and
implements new initiatives such as specially commissioned English librettos and a new programme of
extra events. Continuing ETO’s mission to make exceptional artistic experiences available to all, the
tour brings outstanding live productions and impactful education and community projects to various
locations across the country.

Robin Norton-Hale directs The Coronation of Poppea, a darkly entertaining depiction of violence and
intrigue at the court of Emperor Nero. The production will be sung in English in a new punchy, poetic
translation by Helen Eastman, and features a new arrangement of Monteverdi’s score by multi-genre
pianist and music director Yshani Perinpanayagam, who also conducts – bringing a modern twist to
one of opera’s earliest masterpieces. The cast includes 2020 Kathleen Ferrier First Prize winner
Jessica Cale as Poppea, Feargal Mostyn-Williams as Ottone, Kezia Bienek as Ottavia and Martha
Jones as Nerone.

The tour also features a new production of Rossini’s Cinderella, which will also be sung in English. On
the surface a joyous retelling of the Cinderella story where goodness and kindness triumphs,
Rossini’s opera masks a more biting commentary on status and desire. The production is helmed by
director and movement specialist Jenny Ogilvie and conducted by Naomi Woo, who recently
assisted the world premiere of Oliver Leith’s Last Days at the Royal Opera House. Esme BrownenSmith, First Prize winner at the 2022 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and acclaimed for her performance of
Marchesa Melibea in ETO’s production of Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims in the previous tour, leads the
cast as Cinderella, with Joseph Doody as Ramiro, Edward Hawkins as Alidoro, Nazran Fikret and

Lauren Young as stepsisters Clorinda and Tisbe and Arshak Kuzikyan as stepfather Don Magnifico.
Both productions are designed by Basia Bińkowska, winner of the 2017 Linbury Prize for stage design
and creator of a beautiful set for The Little Prince at La Scala, Milan last year.
Robin Norton-Hale, General Director of English Touring Opera, said: “We’re delighted to be touring
these wonderful operas to audiences across the country and to bring new perspectives to Cinderella
and Poppea for audiences familiar with these stories, as well as presenting new ways into these
masterpieces for those who are new to the works. We want to bring the thrilling experience of opera
to the widest possible audience, showing that this centuries-old but ever-evolving artform can speak
to – and sing about – the world we live in now.”
In addition to the main productions, ETO also provides audiences with additional entry points and
enriching insights into the world of opera with a new programme of live and digital events under the
title ‘ETO Unboxed’. These explore the multi-disciplinary and multi-genre nature of opera, covering
music, theatre, design, language, movement, and more. For the Autumn 2023 tour, ETO has
commissioned a new work for electronics and soprano from experimental duo drøne, which will be
performed at Iklectik in London on 19 September, and new poetry and spoken word from local
performers in Norwich, Exeter and Buxton to be performed at events during the tour. Full details will
be confirmed in due course.

ETO also presents a new interactive opera for babies, Under the Little Red Moon by Russell
Hepplewhite and Tim Yealland, as part of their celebrated Learning and Participation programme.
Aimed at children under two and developed in consultation with the General Paediatrics Department
at King’s College Hospital, the work addresses many elements crucial to a young infant’s
development such as motor skills, language, peer and parent bonding and more, all enabled by the
power of live music. Starring Bradley Travis, Abigail Kelly, Rachel Spiers and Ben Knight, Under the
Little Red Moon is staged at the Half Moon Theatre, Arts Depot and Polka Theatre in London and
Theatre Royal York, as well as libraries and community centres across the country.
ETO’s 2023 Autumn tour opens with The Coronation of Poppea on 30 September at London’s
Hackney Empire and continues until mid-November with shows in Leamington Spa, Norwich, Saffron
Walden, Snape, Buxton, Exeter and Poole. Further information and tickets for the Autumn tour can
be found on English Touring Opera’s website.


Autumn 2023 Tour
Monteverdi – The Coronation of Poppea
Poppea – Jessica Cale
Ottone – Feargal Mostyn-Williams
Ottavia – Kezia Bienek
Nerone – Martha Jones
Drusilla – Elizabeth Karani
Seneca – Trevor Bowes
Arnalta – Amy J Payne
Amore – Keith Pun
Liberto – Richard Pinkstone
Lucano – Zahid Siddiqui
Mercury/Consul – tbc
Virtu/Popoli – Julia Mariko
Scribe/Popoli – Sandeep Gurrapadi
Director – Robin Norton-Hale
Conductor – Yshani Perinpanayagam
Designer – Basia Bińkowska
Lighting Designer – Charlie Morgan Jones
30 September 2023 – London, Hackney Empire
13 October 2023 – Leamington Spa, Royal Spa Centre
17 October 2023 – Norwich, Norwich Theatre Royal
20 October 2023 – Saffron Walden, Saffron Hall
27 October 2023 – Snape, Snape Maltings
3 November 2023 – Buxton, Buxton Opera House
10 November 2023 – Exeter, Exeter Northcott Theatre
14 November 2023 – Poole, Lighthouse

Rossini – Cinderella
Cinderella – Esme Bronwen-Smith
Ramiro – Joseph Doody
Alidoro – Edward Hawkins
Clorinda – Nazan Fikret
Tisbe – Lauren Young
Dandini – Edmund Danon
Don Magnifico – Arshak Kuzikyan
Ensemble – Zahid Siddiqui
Ensemble – Theo Perry
Director – Jenny Ogilvie
Conductor – Naomi Woo
Designer – Basia Bińkowska
Lighting Designer – Charlie Morgan Jones
7 October 2023 – London, Hackney Empire
12 & 14 October 2023 – Leamington Spa, Royal Spa Centre
16 October 2023 – Norwich, Norwich Theatre Royal
21 October 2023 – Saffron Walden, Saffron Hall
26 & 28 October 2023 – Snape, Snape Maltings
2 & 4 November 2023 – Buxton, Buxton Opera House
8 & 11 November 2023 – Exeter, Exeter Northcott Theatre
15 November 2023 – Poole, Lighthouse

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