A brand new English-language version of Aida (Verdi,1871) and an inventive take on Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe (1882) will be part of the King’s Head Theatre’s spring 2020 season, Artistic Director Adam Spreadbury-Maher has announced.

First up is Charles Court Opera’s colourful and timely new production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s sharp satire of power, privilege and parliamentary democracy, Iolanthe. The company’s Artistic Director/Senior Producer John Savournin directs a tale of forbidden love in which half-fairy, half-human Strephon yearns to commit the ultimate crime. The same crime for which his fairy mother Iolanthe was banished: marrying a mortal.

Can he win the heart of the lovely Phyllis and get his plan passed by the Lord Chancellor and an incompetent and indecisive Houses of Parliament?

One of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most enduring operettas, Iolanthe contains some of the latter’s most stunning music, brought to life by Musical Director David Eaton. The production premieres at King’s Head Theatre on 14 April.

Next, King’s Head Theatre will present Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida in a new English-language version by David Eaton and Adam Spreadbury-Maher, directed by the latter.

Verdi’s monumental epic tale opened to great acclaim and today holds a central place in the operatic canon, having been performed more than 1,100 times since 1886. This new version moves the action to a present-day world of border controls and mass migration. Aida makes a desperate journey from her homeland to find refuge in the UK, but her love for Radames throws her chances of survival into jeopardy.

Adam Spreadbury-Maher, artistic director at King’s Head Theatre, commented: “We’re kicking off what may well turn out to be the most momentous year in the King’s Head Theatre’s history with some fantastic productions that embrace everything we stand for, staging high-quality and accessible opera. I am incredibly proud of this season, which explores many different forms of love across many different kinds of boundaries, and cannot wait to share these wonderful shows with our audiences next spring.”

King’s Head Theatre is based at the King’s Head pub in Upper Street, Islington, London. Tickets for both shows are on sale now.



New productions of Verdi’s Aida and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe form part of King’s Head Theatre’s spring 2020 season.