Why See The Merchant Of Venice?
The long-awaited London premiere
Andre Tchaikowsky's Shakespearean opera is set to make its London premiere in 2017, 36 years after it was first rejected by ENO. Premiering in 2016 at the Welsh National Opera to rave reviews, it is a poignant moment for fans of the late composer, who died before his dream was realised. First seen in 2013 at the Bregenz Festival thanks to the pioneering efforts of ex-ENO director David Pountney, the opera follows Shakespeare's play closely, whilst making great use of bittersweet harmonies and fluently graceful writing.
A new perspective on Shylock
A work that never quite decides whether the historicially negative portrayal of Jewish people is condoned or condemned, the personal history of Tchaikowsky, escaping as a child from the Warsaw ghetto during Second World War II provides extra poignancy. Moving the action from 16th century Venice to mid-Thirties' New York, a new type of vibrancy takes over, with the role of Shylock cast as an African American adding a new dimension to what it meant to be despised during that period.
Performance date: 19 July 2017
Suitable for ages 12+
Three hours 10 minutes, including one interval.
Cast and Creative
Directed by Keith Warner
Designed by Ashley Martin-Davis
Lighting design by Davy Cunningham
Movement direction by Michael Barry
What you thought
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