Brett Dean’s Hamlet, with a libretto by Matthew Jocelyn, is Glyndebourne’s boldest commission to dateby Neil Norman / May 18, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in June 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
Welsh National Opera, Cardiff 20th May to 28th June
Johann Strauss’s gorgeous operetta is like a combination of a Viennese chocolate cake and the Marx Brothers. Both Ernst Lubitsch and Michael Powell have filmed the story under different titles and last year’s production at Opera Holland Park successfully relocated the plot from 19th-century Vienna to 1930s London. But John Copley’s 2011 version for WNO was one of the most authentic and amusing versions available. This welcome revival includes Mary Elizabeth Williams as Rosalinde, Mark Stone as Eisenstein and Emma Carrington en travesti as Orlovsky. Release the bat!
Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Lewes 11th June to 6th July
Brett Dean’s Hamlet, with a libretto by Matthew Jocelyn, is Glyndebourne’s boldest commission to date and will be one of the season’s hottest tickets. Of the few extant Hamlet operas, Ambroise Thomas’s 1868 Grand French version was the best known until the rediscovery of Franco Faccio’s Amleto of 1865, performed to great acclaim at last year’s Bregenz Festival in Austria. But I suspect Dean’s Hamlet might be closer to Charles Marowitz’s 1968 cut-up theatrical version.