Intermusica artists star in series of Shakespearean operas this November
Over 200 operas over the years have taken inspiration from Shakespeare's iconic plays, inspiring composers from Purcell and Britten to Rossini and Gounod.
This November, a number of Intermusica singers appear in a range of Shakespeare-based operas, including two different Hamlets on the same day! Read on to find out more.
Macbeth by Verdi (1847)
It is Verdi who most closely followed Shakespeare's original writing, translating the works directly from Italian. Macbeth was extremely well-received at its premiere in 1847, setting precedent for his works that followed.
Last month Craig Colclough jumped in at the Metropolitan Opera to make his house debut in the title role of Macbeth: “[it] will be remembered here as a ‘star is born’ sort of evening for Colclough” (Opera Metro)
> Read a Q&A with Colclough about his role in Macbeth (OperaWire)
This exciting start to the season builds on Colclough's debut in the role in June 2019 at Opera Vlaanderen. This month he returns to the production, opening 8 November in Luxembourg and 21 November in Ghent – click here for more information.
Lear by Aribert Reimann (1978)
On 21 November Gidon Saks (playing the King of France) and Michael Colvin (as Duke of Cornwall) return to Opéra national de Paris in Calixto Bieito's production of Aribert Reimann’s Lear.
The libretto, by Claus H. Henneberg, is based on Shakespeare's King Lear, the tragedy of a King who bestows his power and land to two of his three daughters, culminating in destruction and madness.
The production was first premiered in 1978 at the Bayerische Staatsoper.
Colvin’s 2019/20 season also sees him performing the role of Bob Boles in Peter Grimes at the Enescu Festival and The Witch in Joel Ivany's production of Hansel & Gretel with Canadian Opera Company. Upcoming engagements include a return to Canadian Opera Company and ENO, and an anticipated company debut with Bayerische Staatsoper.
Meanwhile the 2019/20 season sees Saks returning to Teatro La Fenice where he will perform the title role in a new production of Bartòk’s Bluebeard.
Lear runs until 7 December 2019 and is conducted by Fabio Luisi.
Hamlet by Brett Dean (2017)
“New opera doesn’t often get to sound this good” – so commented The Guardian about Brett Dean's Hamlet which has gone on to receive a number of awards since its premiere at Glyndebourne Festival in 2017.
24 November sees the German premiere of Dean’s Hamlet in a new production directed by Brett’s librettist, Matthew Jocelyn, at Cologne Opera.
David Butt Philip attracted major acclaim for his interpretation of the title role on Glyndebourne's UK tour in autumn 2017:
“He sings with uncompromising conviction and blazing intensity. He’s a superb actor, too. We really sense both his affection for Gavan Ring’s Horatio and his horror when he first sees his father’s ghost... It’s an exceptional, career-making achievement" – The Guardian
This month he reprises the role of the ill-fated Prince of Demark to make his company debut with Oper Köln. Performances run until 11 December – click here for more information.
Hamlet by Ambroise Thomas (1868)
Alongside Butt Philip, Jacques Imbrailo also appeared in the 2017 world premiere of Dean’s Hamlet at Glyndebourne, in the role of Horatio, where he was described as “a warm Horatio who also excels” (Bachtrack).
On 24 November, while Butt Philip sings Hamlet in Germany, Imbrailo takes on a rather different interpretation of Shakespeare's classic, performing the title role in French composer Ambroise Thomas’ 1868 opera of the same name with Washington Concert Opera.
A role and house debut for Imbrailo, Washington Concert Opera is known for presenting seldom performed masterpieces of the operatic repertoire in concert form.
Thomas' little-known opera came off the back of so-called 'Ophelia-mania', a craze sparked in 1820s Paris by Irish actress Harriet Smith's unique on-stage interpretation of Ophelia. Smith is best known in classical music history as the woman who inspired Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique.
Hamlet is one of a number of debuts for Imbrailo this season: he also appears for the first time at The Bolshoi Opera and performs Marcello in Barrie Kosky’s production of La Boheme at Komische Oper Berlin.
Watch Imbrailo discuss Thomas' Hamlet below:
Craig Colclough sings first Fra Melitone in debut at Oper Frankfurt
Craig Colclough makes his house debut at Oper Frankfurt on 27 January 2019 when he sings Fra Melitone in a new production of La forza del destino, his debut in the role.
This new production is directed by Tobias Kratzer and conducted by Jader Bignamini with a cast also including Christopher Maltman and Michelle Bradley.
Future highlights this season for Colclough include Narrator in John Adams A Flowering Tree for Opera Queensland and, in future seasons, returns to Opera Vlaanderen, Washington Opera and Los Angeles Opera.
La forza del destino runs until 28 February.
Craig Colclough sings Hänsel und Gretel at Los Angeles Opera
Craig Colclough travels to California this month to join Doug Fitch's production of Humperdinck Hänsel und Gretel for Los Angeles Opera from 17 November 2018. Coclough takes the role of The Father (Peter) in the opera, which also includes Susan Graham as the Witch. James Conlon conducts.
Further highlights of Colclough’s 2018-2019 season include Fra Melitone La Forza del Destino, his Oper Frankfurt debut, and Narrator in Opera Queenland’s production of John Adams A Flowering Tree.
Hänsel und Gretel runs at Los Angeles Opera until 15 December. Colclough began his career at the Los Angeles Opera, appearing with the company in various roles including Bosun Billy Budd, before joining Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artist Studio and subsequently becoming a Filene Young Artist at the Wolf Trap Opera Company.
Iréne Theorin debuts as Ortrud with Craig Colclough in David Alden's Lohengrin at Opera Vlaanderen
On 20 September, Iréne Theorin begins her 2018/19 season with a role debut as Ortrud in David Alden’s new production of Lohengrin at Opera Vlaanderen. Performances are conducted by Alejo Pérez and Theorin is joined by fellow cast members Craig Colclough, Zoran Todorovich and Liene Kinča.
This season, Theorin returns to Gran Teatre del Liceu to make a further debut in the title role La Gioconda as well as returning to Wiener Staatsoper as Brünnhilde in The Ring Cycle. Further appearences include Turandot at Teatro Real Madrid and New National Theatre Tokyo, Brünnhilde Die Walküre in Napoli and Seoul and Brünnhilde Götterdämmerung in Leipzig.
Last season, Theorin appeared as Brünnhilde The Ring Cycle at Wiener Staatsoper and San Francisco Opera. Audiences in Spain saw her triumph as Isolde at Gran Teatre del Liceu, a role that served as a vehicle for her in Buenos Aires, alongside Daniel Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin. Other highlights include the title role of Elektra in Stockholm as well as recital appearances in Barcelona and Stockholm and the Birgit Nillson 100th anniversary concert in Gothenburg.
Craig Colclough returns to Opera Vlaanderen this autumn following his acclaimed house debut in the title role of Falstaff earlier this year. Further highlights of Colclough’s 2018/19 season include his Oper Frankfurt debut as Fra Melitone in La Forza del Destino, a further debut with Opera Queensland, and a return to Los Angeles Opera singing the role of Peter Hänsel und Gretel.
Performances of Lohengrin continue until 23 October. Click here for more information.
Craig Colclough makes debut at Covent Garden in Falstaff
Craig Colclough makes his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, on 7 July 2018, singing the role of Pistol in Verdi Falstaff. Robert Carsen’s production is conducted by Nicola Luisotti, with a cast also including Bryn Terfel and Simon Keenlyside.
Colclough’s season has so far included productions with Boston Lyric Opera, Los Angeles Opera and Minnesota Opera; in Europe, he also sang the title role Falstaff for Opera Vlaanderen, to great acclaim:
“Craig Colclough seduces greatly with his remarkable musicality and phrasing, as well as the grain of voice that sometimes makes one think of that of the great Bryn Terfel. His Falstaff is never fat, or exaggeratedly caricatured: just truculent enough, you always sense the dapper gentleman adrift behind the late lover”
Opera Online, December 2017
Next season Colclough returns to Opera Vlaanderen singing Telmarund Lohengrin and makes his Oper Frankfurt debut as Fra Melitone La Forza del Destino. He also returns to Los Angeles Opera for the role of Peter in Hänsel und Gretel.
Performances of Falstaff at the Royal Opera House run from until 21 July.
Craig Colclough sings Count Monterone in Rigoletto at Los Angeles Opera
Craig Colclough returns to Los Angeles Opera on 12 May 2018, singing Count Monterone in Verdi Rigoletto under the baton of Matthew Aucoin. Directed by Mark Lamos, the production runs until 3 June.
Colclough began his career at the Los Angeles Opera, appearing with the company in various roles including Bosun Billy Budd, before joining Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artist Studio and subsequently becoming a Filene Young Artist at the Wolf Trap Opera Company.
The 2017/18 season has included Colclough’s debut at Opera Vlaanderen in the title role Falstaff in a new production by Christoph Waltz, his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Pistola Falstaff and, in America, Peter Vogel Der Ring des Polykrates for Dallas Opera and Donner Das Rheingold for Arizona Opera.
Craig Colclough, Kai Rüütel & Michael Colvin star in Christof Waltz's Falstaff at Opera Vlaanderen
Craig Colclough makes his debut at Opera Vlaanderen on 13 December 2017 singing the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff. Conducted by Tomáš Netopil and directed by Christoph Waltz, the cast for this new production also includes Intermusica's Kai Rüütel as Meg Page and Michael Colvin as Dr Caius alongside Johannes Martin Kränzle as Ford and Julien Behr as Fenton.
Colclough has previously sung this role to great success for Arizona Opera, receiving the following praise from critics:
“Bass-baritone Craig Colclough sang with excellent diction and a skilfully controlled voice all evening. He interpreted his role visually with exquisite comic timing and aurally with a wide range of dynamics and luminous bronzed vocal tones. His was a moving and sympathetic, but broadly drawn, portrayal of the fat knight.”
Opera Today, April 2016
“Colclough is… the undisputed star of the show, mixing expert slapstick with virtuosic renditions of arias about the joys of alcohol, the uselessness of 'honour' and the virile power of his own bulging belly.”
Arizona Republic, April 2016
Falstaff performances take place throughout December in Antwerp, moving to Gent in January with the final performance on 20 January.
Further highlights this season for Colclough include his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Pistola Falstaff, with recent highlights including Scarpia Tosca for English National Opera and the Canadian Opera Company.
Craig Colclough sings Scarpia in Tosca with Canadian Opera Company
Craig Colclough travels to Canada this month to sing the role of Scarpia in the Canadian Opera Company production of Puccini Tosca from 7 May. Keri-Lynn Wilson’s production is conducted by Paul Curran.
In October, Colclough made his role debut as Scarpia in Catherine Malfitano’s production for English National Opera under the baton of Oleg Caetani. His performance received critical acclaim:
“By far the most interesting voice was Craig Colclough’s Scarpia. In Act Two, he found a cutting-edge timbre and richness of tone"
Classical Source, October 2016
"Craig Colclough’s excellent characterisation makes Scarpia’s menacing of the hapless Tosca more sinister than usual… A fine revival of ENO’s 2010 Tosca, featuring Craig Colclough's memorable, menacing Scarpia"
The Stage, October 2016
"With his strong, secure and warm bass-baritone he delivers a compelling performance"
Music OMH, October 2016
Tosca runs from 7 to 20 May.
New signing Craig Colclough returns to English National Opera as Scarpia in Tosca
Intermusica is delighted to welcome American bass-baritone Craig Colclough for European management.
Colclough returns to English National Opera for another role debut; Scarpia Tosca in a production directed by Catherine Malfitano and conducted by Oleg Caetani. Opening on 3 October, performances run until 3 December. Click here for full details.
Following a number of critically acclaimed role debuts, including Kurwenal in a new production of Tristan und Isolde at English National Opera, American bass-baritone Craig Colclough is rapidly establishing himself as one of the most energetically imaginative singers of his generation, with captivating stage presence.
Further highlights this season include Scarpia Tosca for the Canadian Opera Company. He also performs the roles of Doristo L'arbore di Diana for Minnesota Opera and the title role of Falstaff for Opera Saratoga. In future seasons, Colclough makes his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and at Vlaamse Opera.
Colclough’s recent highlights have included his Simone Gianni Schicchi for Los Angeles Opera alongside Placido Domingo, title role Falstaff for Arizona Opera, Oroveso Norma for Florida Grand Opera, his European debut as Jack Rance La Fanciulla del West for English National Opera, Figaro Le nozze di Figaro for Atlanta Opera and Lieutenant Gordon Silent Night for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.