The Independent London Newspaper


THEATRE: King's Head launches search for modern-day Puccini with opera competition

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Robin Norton-Hale

Published: 6 September, 2012

King's Head Theatre

THE King’s Head Theatre has begun the search for a modern-day Puccini with new opera competition, Flourish.

The resident company OperaUpClose are hoping to find a new operatic superstar and are offering year-long support to bring to life a brand new production in partnership with Eclectic Opera.

The winning opera will enjoy a seven-week run in the Islington theatre in Upper Street.

OperaUpClose artistic director Robin Norton-Hale is excited about the prospect of working with new talent.

She said: “The artform can’t survive unless new plays are coming through.” Olivier Award-winning OperaUpClose was formed in October 2009 by Ms Norton-Hale and Adam Spreadbury-Maher, and has staged 12 productions to date, starting with La Boheme, which has already transferred to the Soho Theatre twice and will begin a 12-week run at the Charing Cross Theatre from October 30.

“Opera is not this thing that is separated from theatre, it’s just theatre that’s sung,” Ms Norton-Hale added. “We want to give an opportunity to someone who’s either established and wants to write for this environment, or an up-and-coming composer or librettist [the author of the words in an opera].”

Entries are currently being shortlisted. A final five will perform live before a panel of industry judges on September 30.

The judges are playwright and librettist Mark Ravenhill, composer Robert Saxton, award-winning poet Glyn Maxwell and James Clutton, artistic director and producer of Opera Holland Park.

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