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Discovering Opera with the English National Opera

Guardian Masterclasses

Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 10:00 AM - Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 10:30 PM (BST)

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Discovering Opera with the English National Opera Ended £499.00 £0.00
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Event Details


Be part of a unique cultural appreciation series and attend four operas this autumn at English National Opera and discover what goes into their staging, music preparation and performance.

This course will launch with an intensive day exploring Opera and specifically four performances that feature in the current English National Opera season. Through seminars, presentations an
d discussions, you will dissect each of the Operas in the company of music experts, directors and performers including with Sandy Burnett, musician, broadcaster and host of Classic Discovery which introduces intelligent adults to classical music.

Over the course of the following six weeks the group will then attend the operas preceded by an exclusive pre-performance refresher and a chance to meet the team behind the scenes.

Dates: Saturday 13 October- Thursday 22 November 2012

Times: Immersion day: 10am- 5pm/ Performances:7.30pm doors

Location: The Guardian, 90 York Way, King's Cross, London N1 9GU/ ENO, London Coliseum, St Martins Lane, WC2N 4ES

Price: £499 (inclusive of Immersion day, four tickets to performances including pre-show talks, VAT and booking fee)

Maximum course size: 30


Saturday 13th October: Immersion day at the Guardian offices in Kings Place

Gain understanding of the musical and historical context behind each piece as well as insights, talks and discussion about the process of putting on this most complex of art forms.

Thursday 18th October: The Magic Flute with ENO

Acclaimed as 'a well-established jewel of ENO's repertoire' (Evening Standard) and 'one of ENO's most magical productions' (The Times), National Theatre Director Nicholas Hytner's spectacular staging has thrilled audiences of all ages since it was first seen in 1988 and now returns – complete with giant serpent, dancing bears and live performing birds – to celebrate its 25th anniversary on the London Coliseum stage.

Wednesday 31st October: Julius Caesar with ENO

The triumphant climax of the composer's Royal Academy years, and arguably the grandest, most sumptuously tuneful opera seria of them all, Handel's Julius Caesar returns to ENO's repertoire for the first time since its legendary 1979 staging first established the company's reputation as London's reigning 'House of Handel'.

Thursday 15th November: Don Giovanni with ENO

Edward Gardner, ENO's Olivier Award-winning Music Director, conducts a cast featuring many of the outstanding singers from its initial 2010 run. This first revival boasts star bass-baritone Iain Paterson (recently acclaimed as both Wagner's Amfortas and Mozart's Figaro) as the hell-bent womaniser, with Katherine Broderick and Ben Johnson (both former Kathleen Ferrier Award-winners) as the defiled Donna Anna and her uptight fiancé Don Ottavio.

Thursday 22nd November: Pilgrim's Progress with ENO

Staged by revered Japanese actor-director Yoshi Oïda, a veteran member of Peter Brook's Parisian theatre company and a past master of telling simplicity, this new production is conducted by Martyn Brabbins, whose passionate belief in British music was last revealed at ENO in his 'grippingly urgent and muscular' (The Guardian) account of Tippett's A Child of Our Time in 2005.


The course has been put together by Mark Prescott.  Mark has worked in the cultural and classical music sector for over 15 years including stints working at the Verbier Festival and the Belfast Festival.  He has a music degree from Royal Holloway University and is a keen amateur musician.  Erica Jeal is a music critic for the Guardian and the deputy editor of Opera Magazine,  Misty Buckley is a set designer who has most recently been working for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Paralympic Games and James Inverne is the former editor of Gramophone magazine and will lead a discussion on the recording history of all four pieces.

Sandy Burnett is a musician and broadcaster who spent over a decade as one of the best-known classical music presenters on BBC Radio 3. He has conducted many orchestras and choirs, has masterminded a complete cycle of JS Bach’s sacred cantatas leads music tours, is in demand as a lecturer and interviewer, and now introduces intelligent adults to classical music through his Classic Discovery events and lectures. He is also an accomplished jazz double bassist.

Have questions about Discovering Opera with the English National Opera? Contact Guardian Masterclasses

When & Where

N1 9GU London
United Kingdom

Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 10:00 AM - Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 10:30 PM (BST)

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Guardian Masterclasses

Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.

Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.

Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.

The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.

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Discovering Opera with the English National Opera
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