ADELAIDE FESTIVAL IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE STATE OPERA OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA, ADELAIDE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND ADELAIDE FESTIVAL
COMPOSED BY BRETT DEAN, DIRECTED BY NEIL ARMFIELD
A GLYNDEBOURNE FESTIVAL OPERA PRODUCTION
Shakespeare’s best-known tragedy is given new life as a darkly complex opera, composed by Brett Dean, directed by Adelaide Festival’s Neil Armfield and conducted by Nicholas Carter.
In this Australian premiere and Adelaide-exclusive national operatic event of the year, Shakespeare’s timeless tale of love, betrayal and revenge is taken to new levels through Brett Dean’s vivid and richly lyrical music, highlighted by sensational arias, ensembles and choruses. The musical grandeur of the production extends beyond the stage with a semi-chorus and extra percussion adding to an all-encompassing theatrical experience.
‘To be, or not to be?’, the ghost of Hamlet’s father laments, as Matthew Jocelyn’s inspired libretto ‘toys with Shakespeare’s text to fine effect’ (The Observer UK 2017).
The top-flight international cast features many of the original UK singers including the remarkable British tenor Allan Clayton as Hamlet and superb American baritone Rod Gilfry as Claudius, alongside leading Australian sopranos Cheryl Barker as Gertrude and Lorina Gore as Ophelia.
After receiving rapturous reviews from its world premiere at the renowned Glyndebourne Festival Opera in the UK, Neil Armfield’s production of Brett Dean’s Hamlet comes to Adelaide to the envy of the great opera houses of the world, who will have to wait another year for this “exciting, colourful, and perfectly-paced” (Limelight, 2017) production to arrive at their doors.
AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE / EXCLUSIVE TO ADELAIDE
Friday 2 March at 7.30pm
Sunday 4 March at 5.00pm
Tuesday 6 March at 6.00pm
Sung in English with English supertitles
***** ‘…a magnificent new opera’ – The Times, UK (July 2017)
‘The piece succeeds magnificently. Australia must see it as soon as possible’ – The Australian (June 2017)
‘Hamlet is the operatic event of the year…hard to imagine any doing better than Neil Armfield’s impeccably paced production’ – The Sunday Times (June 2017)
‘I haven’t seen a more physically vivid, emotionally affecting or psychologically astute portrayal of the Prince of Denmark than Allan Clayton gives in this sensational production.’ – The Times, UK (July 2017)
‘Dean’s skill at creating a supercharged orchestral subtext to each scene is matched by his immense theatricality…quite apart from his unerring pacing of the story, he also creates at least a dozen moments where sheer sonority alone sends shivers up the spine.’ – The Times, UK (July 2017)
‘staged with a sure, straightforward and often blackly comic touch by Neil Armfield’ – The Times, UK (July 2017)
‘New opera doesn’t often get to sound this good. Nor does it often get to end with a swordfight as gripping as this one’ – The Guardian, UK (July 2017)
‘Dean’s Hamlet is a rare thing, an authentic musical interpretation of a play that both enhances Shakespeare and is very much its own master. An opera for today, it deserves to enter the repertoire.’ – Limelight (July 2017)
COMPOSER Brett Dean
LIBRETTIST Matthew Jocelyn
CONDUCTOR Nicholas Carter
DIRECTOR Neil Armfield
SET DESIGNER Ralph Myers
COSTUME DESIGNER Alice Babidge
LIGHTING DESIGNER Jon Clark
MOVEMENT DIRECTOR AND ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Denni Sayers
CHORUS MASTER Brett Weymark
|Glyndebourne Cast reprising their roles in Adelaide|
|Hamlet Allan Clayton||Claudius Rod Gilfrey|
|Polonius Kim Begley||Ghost of Old Hamlet TBC|
|Rosencrantz Rupert Enticknap||Accordion James Crabb|
|Guildenstern Christopher Lowrey|
|New Cast for Adelaide|
|Ophelia Lorina Gorr|
|Gertrude Cheryl Barker|
|Laertes Sam Sakker|
STATE OPERA CHORUS
ADELAIDE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
The presentation of Hamlet has been made possible by the Adelaide Festival Hamlet Donor Circle
Photo of Hamlet by Richard Hubert Smith