The world premiere of Julian Anderson’s first opera Thebans is less than a week away, and excitement is mounting! The opera – a re-telling of Sophocles’ timeless Theban tragedies, co-commissioned by English National Opera and Theater Bonn – is a collaboration with many distinguished figures: playwright and librettist Frank McGuinness, director Pierre Audi and ENO Music Director Edward Gardner.
All three joined Anderson and host Tom Service for an enlightening discussion on the new work (the full recording is available here).
Ed Gardner: ‘It’s absolutely beautiful, I was saying to Julian’s publishers just right now that you don’t feel like any moment has had anything other than complete care taken over it… Everything is sing-able, it just feels fantastic through the voice. The orchestration is the same… I’m just enjoying it enormously!
Frank McGuinness: ‘I wanted to hear some of his music. I got some and I loved it… I knew it would come down to how the spark would be when we really met… When I did meet him, I felt he was someone who really knew what he was doing.’
Pierre Audi: ‘It’s very sing-able, the singers are clearly enjoying it… the orchestration is very subtle, very colourful, to the point… it all makes sense.’
Thebans opens on 3 May 2014 at English National Opera – London Coliseum and runs for 7 performances.