English National Opera’s new season kicks off on September 28 with a brand new, full-force production of one of the greatest operas of all time: Verdi’s magnificent Aida. Whether you’re an opera buff or somebody wanting to take the leap of seeing their first opera it should be perfect for you – and here’s why.
What is it?
Giuseppe Verdi’s 1871 masterpiece is a tragic romance set in ancient Egypt. It follows a doomed love triangle between two princesses and an Egyptian military commander. It’s an epic tale of love, duty and betrayal directed by the brilliant Phelim McDermott, director of the Olivier Award-winning Akhnaten.
What’s so good about it?
The opera is one of the greatest and most passionate scores in history, backed by the full, awesome power of the ENO chorus and orchestra, while gifted auteur McDermott and his crack team should create something truly visually stunning. Legendary American puppeteer and designer Basil Twist – who did Kate Bush’s ‘Before the Dawn’ live show – has created a show that’ll be as much a feast for the eyes as for the ears.
Can I afford it?
Absolutely: there are a lot of stories told about opera prices, but at ENO tickets start at £12, with 500 tickets at £20 or less for every performance (plus booking fee).
Will I understand it?
Absolutely – all of ENO’s productions are sung in English, and the plot’s perfectly comprehensible if you can follow, say, ‘Game of Thrones’.
Yes! It features acrobatics from feminist street acrobats Mimbre– definitely not something you can say about every opera.
Sep 28, Oct 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 19, 21, 27, 31, Nov 4, 10, 17, 27, 29 & Dec 2. Tickets from £12, under-16s half price. London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4ES