The Arcola Theatre's opera festival Grimeborn is nine years old this year and returns with what looks like as nicely varied an offering as ever. Giving up and coming opera directors, writers and performers a rare chance to strut their stuff, Grimeborn features twelve productions over the month of August.
This year's highlights include 'Bluebeard's Castle', a community staging of Bela Bartok's opera using life-size puppets. 'A Willesden Liederkreis' (‘A Willesden Song-Cycle’) is a wry new work from ethereal counter-tenor Magid El-Bushra which tells the story of a Muslim boy living in '80s suburbia. Greg Harradine's new opera 'Drifting Dragons' takes place on the streets around the Arcola. London Armenian Opera will present 1967 classic 'Fire Ring', and the festival's centrepiece is a stripped back, film noir-tinged performance of 'Tosca', accompanied on the piano.