Not seen in London since its 1990 premiere, Gerald Barry’s first opera The Intelligence Park – with a libretto by Vincent Deane – comes to the Linbury Theatre in September, the Royal Opera has announced.
Commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), the opera was first performed in 1990 at the Almeida Festival, introducing a unique new operatic voice to the world. Almost 30 years on, the Royal Opera and Music Theatre Wales are creating a new production together with the London Sinfonietta, the UK’s leading contemporary music ensemble. It will open in the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House and then tour to Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham.
Director/designer Nigel Lowery directs and designs a new ‘messed-up’ Baroque production that aims to rediscover the opera’s ‘zoo’ of emotions, characters and absurdities in a blurring of imagination and reality that explores notions of creativity, sexuality and obligation.
The Intelligence Park is set in Dublin in 1753. A composer’s work on an opera is disrupted and intensified when he falls in love with the lead castrato, who elopes with the composer’s fiancée, as fantasy and reality become mixed. The music is startling in every aspect of its range, making extravagant virtuoso demands of the six performers.
The cast consists of former Jette Parker Young Artist and Brazilian baritone Michel de Souza as Paradies, Australian tenor Adrian Dwyer as D’Esperaudieu, Welsh soprano Rhian Lois as Jerusha Cramer, American countertenor and Jette Parker Young Artist Patrick Terry as Serafino, Canadian mezzo-soprano Stephanie Marshall as Faranesi and Stephen Richardson as Sir Joshua Cramer, the role he created in 1990. The production is conducted by Jessica Cottis.
Gerald Barry’s The Intelligence Park kicks off the 2019-20 season at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre.