Opera Holland Park (OHP) has announced details of its 2022 season, which will open on 31 May 2022. The programme features three new productions, a UK premiere, a spectacular double bill, a Gilbert and Sullivan favourite, a production from OHP’s Young Artists and a series of concert recitals.
The season launches with two new productions: Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (1879), which opens the programme on 31 May and runs to 25 June, and Bizet’s Carmen (1875), running from 2-24 June. The 2022 Young Artists will also perform their own productions of Eugene Onegin on 13 and 23 June.
The former tells the story of a selfish hero – the eponymous Onegin – who lives to regret his blasé rejection of a young woman’s love and his careless incitement of a fatal duel with his best friend. It is based on Russian poet and novelist Alexander Pushkin’s 1825-1832 novel of the same name.
One of the world’s best-known and most popular operas, Carmen follows the fiery Gypsy girl as she falls in love, fatally, with soldier Don José but spurns him for the more exciting Escamillo, a toreador. The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on the novella of the same title by French writer Prosper Mérimée.
The second half of the season sees the UK premiere of American composer Mark Adamo’s 1998 opera, Little Women (22, 28 and 30 July and 3 and 5 August). Adamo also wrote the libretto, adapted from Louisa May Alcott’s classic coming-of-age novel.
Postponed from the cancelled 2020 season, Delius’s Margot la Rouge (1902) will be performed in a double bill with Puccini’s Le villi (The Fairies, 1884) on 21, 23, 27 and 29 July and 2, 4 and 6 August. This tragic double bill takes the audience from the backstreets of Paris to an enchanted forest, in two rarely heard works of passionate intensity.
Delius’s verismo opera sees the soldier Thibault recognise his first love in a brothel. The girl he once knew as Marguerite is now Margot, and the lover of a pimp. In the second opera of the evening, Anna – abandoned and forgotten by her sweetheart, Roberto – dies of a broken heart. When he returns, penniless and repentant, Anna and the Willis, the haunted spirits of abandoned brides, lure him into a fatal dance.
The season concludes with Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore (1878), a new co-production with Charles Court Opera which runs from 9-13 August. The story takes place aboard the Royal Navy ship HMS Pinafore. The captain’s daughter, Josephine, is in love with a lower-class sailor, Ralph Rackstraw, although her father intends her to marry Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty. However, a surprise disclosure changes things dramatically near the end of the story.
The City of London Sinfonia returns as resident orchestra for all five productions.
OHP will once again be holding ‘discovery matinees’ for each of the operas. These are relaxed performances, with accessible ticket prices, and audio-description available for anyone who would benefit from it.
Casting and ticketing information is yet to be announced. See Opera Holland Park’s website for further details.
OHP has also revealed that Opera in Song will return next year. This recital series of concerts explores the characters and storylines of featured works from the 2022 season and beyond through songs by different composers. The series is curated in partnership with New Zealand baritone Julien Van Mellaerts and pianist Dylan Perez.
James Clutton, chief executive at Opera Holland Park, commented: “Well, we did it: the 2021 season. We got through it. Five operas, musicals, choirs, concerts, song recitals. And mainly thanks to you. Thanks for your support, thanks for your donations, thanks for your applause at the end of every night.
“Now after a short rest, we can’t wait to be back with you for the 2022 season. Eugene Onegin, Carmen, the UK premiere of Little Women, our long-awaited double bill of Le villi and Margot la Rouge, and HMS Pinafore with Charles Court Opera.
“We can’t wait to see you there.”
West London-based opera house Opera Holland Park has announced details of its 2022 season.