Opera Breaks in London

Opera and Hotel packages for the ENO 2024

I love the London Coliseum – I spent 2 years sharing a fire exit with the wardrobe department and the Lemon Tree with the musicians of the orchestra and, for now, the ENO are staying here to entertain us with top class, English language opera. Every season is packed with a wide range of new operas and old operas, new productions and old productions, but always with a top class list of singers, directors and conductors.

Following the English National Opera’s announcement of their 2023/24  season, we can in turn announce that our opera breaks are now available to book in 2024.

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Don’t you love an opera marketing image? See if you can guess the opera (or operetta) in each case from their marketing images – answers to [email protected]

See the full list below of the nine operas to be staged at the world famous London Coliseum.

  • The return of Annilese Miskimmon’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
  • Jonathan Miller’s 1987 production The Barber of Seville
  • Mozart’s The Magic Flute in collaboration with pioneering theatre company Complicité.
  • David Alden’s double Olivier Award winning production of Janáček’s Jenůfa.
  • A new semi-staged concert of Bartók’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle to close  the season

Opera Breaks in London London Theatre BreaksThe Handmaid’s Tale

Set in a totalitarian state in which women, stripped of their identities and rights, are subjected to the whims of a patriarchal republic, this thought-provoking work magnifies the issues of state control and the fragility of freedom as heroine Offred struggles against the nightmare she finds herself in.

This is the critically acclaimed 2022 production by Annilese Miskimmon’s of The Handmaid’s Tale, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood.

1 February – 15 February 2024
Feb 1, 8,15 at 19.30. Feb 3, 10 at 18.30.
Signed Performance: Thursday 8 February at 19.30.

Opera Breaks in London London Theatre BreaksThe Barber of Seville

Jonathan Miller’s much-loved production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, first staged in 1987 at the ENO is back to entertain audiences in February 2024.

Set in eighteenth century Seville, Rossini’s comic masterpiece is the first in Beaumarchais’s ‘Figaro trilogy’, making it a prequel to the story of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. The opera sees dashing Count Almaviva attempt to win the beautiful Rosina from the clutches of her guardian Dr Bartolo, enlisting the help of his barber Figaro and a series of cunning disguises along the way.

Baritone Charles Rice takes on the role of Figaro. The role of Rosina is performed by Anna Devin on her ENO and role debut.

12 February – 29 February 2024
Feb 12, 14, 22, 27, 29 at 19.00. Feb 24 at 18.00.
Signed Performance: Thursday 22 February at 19.00.
Relaxed Performance: Tuesday 27 February at 11.00.

Opera Breaks in London London Theatre Breaks The Magic Flute

Opera Breaks in London London Theatre Breaks

This unique rendition of one of Mozart’s most enduring operas combines singers and actors to evoke a magical world of monsters and mystery. Armed with only a magic flute, Prince Tamino is given a fantastical quest to rescue the Queen of The Night’s daughter Pamina from the High Priest Sarastro. A contemporary setting, with live sound effects, drawing, animation and the ENO Orchestra raised to stage level make this a joyously accessible operatic event. Making her ENO debut conducting the ENO Orchestra is Erina Yashima.

Simon McBurney’s The Magic Flute, a ‘life-enhancing, gloriously creative example of what opera in the 21st-century can be’ (The Spectator), is staged at the London Coliseum in collaboration with pioneering theatre company Complicité.

28 February – 30 March 2024
Feb 28, Mar 1, 6, 12, 15, 19, 26, 28 at 19.00. Mar 9 at 18.00. Mar 30 at 15.00.
Signed Performance: Tuesday 19 March at 19.00
Relaxed Performance: Tuesday 12 March at 11.00.

Opera Breaks in London London Theatre BreaksJenůfa

Based on the original late nineteenth century play by Gabriela Preissová, Jenůfa explores honour, love and sacrifice against the backdrop of a small, claustrophobic community and tangled family relationships. Premiering in Brno in 1904, the work launched Janácek’s operatic career.

David Alden’s double Olivier Award-winning production updates the opera’s original setting from a traditional Moravian village to an isolated twentieth century industrial estate in the Eastern Bloc. Last seen at ENO in 2016, it was deemed ‘an unmissable show’ by the Evening Standard.

Founding conductor and music director of the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, Keri-Lynn Wilson conducts.

13 March – 27 March 2024
Mar 13, 20, 22, 25, 27 at 19.30. Mar 16 at 18.30.
Signed Performance: Monday 25 March at 19.30.

Duke Bluebeard’s CastleOpera Breaks in London London Theatre Breaks

Closing the season at the London Coliseum is a new semi-staged concert of Bartók’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, the first ENO performance of the work in 15 years.

The one-act opera, based on Charles Perrault’s French folk-horror, sees the Duke introducing his new wife Judith to her foreboding new home where terrible secrets hide within.

Natalya Romaniw makes a role debut as Judith and renowned bass-baritone John Relyea returns to the company as the fearsome Bluebeard.

21 March – 23 March 2024
Mar 21 and 23 at 19.30.

 About the ENO

The English National Opera is the national opera company dedicated to one simple aim: making opera for everyone. They sing in English to be accessible to the widest possible audience. They create opera that feels different, theatrical, and creatively daring and have been doing this to an internationally recognised standard since being founded in 1931 as Sadler’s Wells Opera.

  • The ENO’s relaxed performance programme on the main stage will be for two productions this season: Iolanthe and The Magic Flute. For one performance, The Barber of Seville will be the ENO’s first Discover Opera Experience – deconstructing the opera for audiences, providing a shortened and guided version, which will be performed in a relaxed setting.

The ENO is for everyone, and always will be.


Operas Already Missed this season

Peter Grimes

The opening of the ENO’s 2023/24 Season was marked by the return of David Alden’s searing psychological drama, Peter Grimes. Among Britten’s best-known operas, Peter Grimes is the tale of an ostracised outsider turned upon by the community, set against the melodramatic and claustrophobic backdrop of a Suffolk fishing village.

Opera Breaks in London London Theatre Breaks
Peter Grimes – Benjamin Britten – English National Opera

Gwyn Hughes Jones made a role debut as Peter Grimes with soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn as Ellen Orford. Returning to the ENO was bass-baritone Simon Bailey in the role of Balstrode.

Iolanthe

Flying fairies, quarrelsome lords, and an ensemble of quirky characters gather in this hilarious satire on British government, law and society. The jewel in the ENO’s Gilbert and Sullivan crown, this topsy-turvy masterpiece has been praised by critics and audiences alike.

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IOLANTHE by Gilbert and Sullivan; Photo credit: © CLIVE BARDA/ArenaPAL;

‘Britain’s funniest director’ (The Guardian), Cal McCrystal (Mother GooseOne Man, Two Guvnors and films Paddington and Paddington 2) returns to the director’s chair to lend his characteristic slapstick panache to the production.

Samantha Price is Iolanthe, with soprano Ellie Laugharne as Phyllis, and baritone Marcus Farnsworth as Strephon. Bass-baritone John Savournin performs the role of the Lord Chancellor. The ‘exceptional’ (The Times) mezzo-soprano Catherine Wyn-Rogers makes a role debut as the Queen of the Fairies.

La traviata

Romantic and tragic in equal parts, Verdi’s most famous opera tells of heart-breakingly beautiful Violetta’s doomed love for Alfredo, for which she would sacrifice everything.

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Cutting to the heart of the opera’s themes of all-consuming love and tragedy, Peter Konwitschny’s ‘sharp and refined’ (The Guardian) production of La traviata is renowned for its modern, focused staging and exceptional drama, earning an Olivier Award for ‘Best New Opera Production’ on its premiere in 2013.

Soprano Nicole Chevalier sang the role of the doomed courtesan. Alfredo is sung by tenor Jose Simerilla Romero. Alfredo’s father Giorgio is sung by baritone Roland Wood.

7 Deaths of Maria Callas

In an exciting UK premiere, celebrated performance artist Marina Abramović made her ENO debut with her production of 7 Deaths of Maria Callas. Exploring the life, work and death of one of opera’s greatest stars, this staging marks 100 years since the American-born Greek soprano’s birth.

Callas – whose private life was never quite able to be separated from her performances – has fascinated Abramović for decades, and she has conceived this operatic project as a homage to the great prima donna. The production premiered in September 2020 at Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper and has since toured to co-production partners: the Greek National Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Opéra national de Paris, and the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli.

Immortalised through her place in popular culture, Callas (sometimes referred to as ‘La Divina’ – the divine one) is invoked on stage through a series of her most famous arias from La traviata, Tosca, Madam Butterfly, Carmen, Otello, Lucia di Lammermoor and Norma. These arias are woven together with new music by Serbian composer Marko Nikodijevic. Abramović is the director and set designer, and the conductor is Yoel Gamzou who has conducted this work across Europe.

Accompanying each of these aria performances was a series of short films starring Abramović and actor Willem Dafoe. Present on stage throughout the performance, Abramović played the sleeping Callas, haunted by her greatest roles, in a set that recreated the Paris apartment where Callas died.

London Theatre Breaks
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