Three of the best at Theatre Royal

Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts as Peter Grimes and Williamn Mercer as Boy in a scene from Peter Grimes''Photo by Robert Day
Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts as Peter Grimes and Williamn Mercer as Boy in a scene from Peter Grimes''Photo by Robert Day

Nottingham’s Theatre Royal welcomes back Opera North this week to perform an operatic triple-bill entitled A Festival Of Britten.

In a major celebration of the centenary of the birth of British composer Benjamin Britten, Opera North’s autumn season for 2013 comprises three Britten productions, starting with a revival of Phyllida Lloyd’s multi-award winning Peter Grimes.

Martin Duncan’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream also returns, while the legendary Yoshi Oida’s production of Death in Venice, previously seen internationally, at Lyon, Toronto, Bregenz and Aldeburgh, is new to Opera North.

Richard Mantle, Opera North’s general director, commented: “Benjamin Britten is the greatest composer for theatre and opera our country has ever known and one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. In his centenary year. we will celebrate the breadth of his work through the breadth of our work.

“By the time we stage Death in Venice in the autumn of 2013, we will have performed all of the composer’s major stage work, which few opera houses in the world have achieved.

“We are dedicating this festival of Britten season to the founder of Opera North, the 7th Earl of Harewood, who died in 2011. As well being a personal friend of Benjamin Britten for a time, George was also a strong champion of his work, commissioning Gloriana for the Royal Opera House in 1953.

Through this season we hope to further the legacy of Lord Harewood’s passion and enthusiasm for a truly remarkable British composer.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream can be seen on November 19 and 22. Martin Duncan (The Adventures of Pinocchio) revives his warm and witty 2008 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, conducted by Stuart Stratford. Several of the original cast members return to reprise their roles.

Phyllida Lloyd’s multi-award winning production of Peter Grimes returns too. First seen in 2006, this production went on to garner awards including the Southbank Show Award for Opera, the TMA Theatre Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, and the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Opera & Music Theatre.

Welsh tenor Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts reprises his searing performance in the title role. It can be seen on November 20 and 23.

Opera North’s highly esteemed music director, Richard Farnes, will conduct Death In Venice, Britten’s valedictory final opera, composed at the end of his life and first performed at Snape Maltings in 1973.

Alan Oke, around which this production was created, reprises his role of the ageing writer, von Aschenbach. It can be seen on November 21.

For ticket details about all three of the operas to be staged, please call the box office on 0115 9895555.