Jenufa 23rd June to 8th July, English National Opera, London Coliseum
David Alden’s sizzling production of Leoš Janácek’s opera made a powerful impact on its debut in 2006, bagging two Olivier Awards in 2007. The tale of tragic love in a 19th-century Moravian community was updated to the 20th century and relocated to the grimy fringes of an industrial estate. First performed in 1904, Jenufa is a prime example of Janácek’s realist operas. Jenufa becomes ensnared in a web of love over her secret pregnancy. With elements that include infanticide and face-slashing, it is hardly less shocking today than it was when it first appeared. American mezzo-soprano Laura Wilde makes her debut as Jenufa while the crucial part of the Kostelnicka, or “stepmother” will be taken by Michaela Martens who returns to the role following her debut in the 2009 revival. In his last season as ENO’s Music Director Mark Wigglesworth will assuredly be conducting con brio.
The Creation 14th to 17th July, Garsington Opera
Joseph Haydn’s masterpiece was inspired by his visits to London to hear Handel’s oratorios and an English libretto derived from Genesis and John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Garsington’s new production partners its distinguished opera company under Douglas Boyd with Rambert Dance, with choreography by Mark Baldwin. Premiered in Vienna in 1799, Haydn’s blinding oratorio is set to stun once again.
Natalia Osipova 29th June to 3rd July, Sadler’s Wells
The prospect of seeing Russian superstar Natalia Osipova partnered by her inamorato Sergei Polunin is enough to give ballet lovers palpitations. This is the first time they have danced together in the UK and three new pieces have been commissioned for the occasion from leading choreographers Russell Maliphant, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Arthur Pita. It’s the hottest dance ticket in town.