The Royal College of Music’s (RCM) Opera Studio will be bringing a new production of Jonathan Dove’s opera Flight to the London-based conservatoire’s Britten Theatre in South Kensington, south-west London, this month and into July.

Set in an airport departure lounge, Flight tells the story of a group of passengers and crew members whose planes have been delayed by a storm. The opera explores the contrasting themes of refugeeship and citizenship.

In a busy, always-on world, the characters are forced to pause, reflect on their lives and reconsider their respective relationships. While each pair has little in common on the surface, they are brought together by universal concerns of love, identity, hope, birth and death.

The stories of this disparate group of people include an immigration officer, a diplomat and his pregnant wife, an older woman awaiting her younger fiancé and a married couple in a rut; all centred on a refugee stranded at the airport. With episodes to make you laugh out loud as well as moments of serious reflection, Flight underscores the differences between us as well as the shared humanity that connects us all.

The opera’s libretto, by leading British playwright April de Angelis, is based on the true story of Mehran Nasseri, an Iranian refugee who was stranded in Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport for 18 years. This poignant story also inspired Steven Spielberg’s 2004 film The Terminal, which starred Tom Hanks.

Written for Glyndebourne in 1998, Flight quickly became one of the most popular and most performed British operas of recent years, catapulting its composer to international renown. It has been staged around the world.

This reimagining by acclaimed director Jeremy Sams aims to give audiences the chance to experience the story as never before, drawing on abstract ideas of timelessness, magic and mystery. Composer Dove will also be involved in the unique creative direction of the production.

As is traditional for RCM Opera Studio productions, two casts will alternate performances, giving as many young singers as possible the chance to take to the Britten Theatre stage. The production is conducted by RCM’s director of opera Michale Rosewell. Sets and costumes are by designer Nicky Shaw, with lighting by James Whiteside.

Tickets are on sale now, with performances at 7pm on 28 and 30 June and 2 and 4 July. Tickets cost £20-60.



The Royal College of Music Opera Studio will stage a new production of Jonathan Dove’s comic opera Flight in June and July.