Coraline is the latest opera from Mark-Anthony Turnage. Turnage is one of today’s leading composers and a highly successful, internationally acclaimed opera writer.
For Coraline, his second work for The Royal Opera, he adapts a much-loved story by Neil Gaiman – a British writer who has transformed the landscape of fantasy literature with his highly imaginative, atmospheric and otherworldly narratives.
Coraline is classic Gaiman: it is packed with astonishing imagery, all wrapped up in an engrossing yarn. After its publication in 2002 Coraline swept up numerous awards, including Nebula and Hugo awards for Best Novella. In 2009 it was adapted into a stop-motion film directed by Henry Selick – which also received widespread acclaim.
The world premiere of Turnage’s operatic adaptation is directed by Aletta Collins at the Barbican Theatre featuring Britten Sinfonia performing the music.
The performance 7 April will be recorded for broadcast on 21 April by BBC Radio 3.
Mary Bevan* / Robyn Allegra Parton^ Coraline
Kitty Whately Mother / Other Mother
Richard Burkhard Father / Other Father
Gillian Keith Miss Spink / Ghost Child 1
Frances McCafferty Miss Forcible
Harry Nicoll Mr Bobo / Ghost Child 2
Dominic Sedgwick Ghost Child 3
* 27 Mar – 2pm, 29 Mar – 7pm, 31 Mar – 2pm, 3 Apr – 7pm, 5 Apr – 7pm, 7 Apr – 7pm
^ 31 Mar – 7pm, 4 Apr – 7pm, 7 Apr – 2pm
Coraline is a Royal Opera House co-production with Folkoperan, Opéra de Lille, Theater Freiburg and Victorian Opera
Age Guidance 8+
"It helps that the score is given with such audible conviction by Britten Sinfonia, increasingly familiar in the opera-pit, and is conducted by Sian Edwards with an appropriate amalgam of incisiveness and dramatic focus."Read More
"opera’s job should be to entertain while addressing the big questions, and Coraline is exactly the kind of show that I’m thrilled to see the Royal Opera producing."Read More
"With a splendid cast such as this – all fine actors as well as fine singers, an ensemble in the very best sense – combined with a fine orchestra and conductor, musical magic will nearly always have opportunity to emerge"Read More
" Sian Edwards' conducting of the Britten Sinfonia is a set of punchy and delicate starts, ends and pauses."Read More
"Sian Edwards directs an energetic Britten Sinfonia, relishing idiosyncratic combinations of trumpet and pizzicatos, with lovely low resonances of viola and bassoon, creating a sinister undertone, which presages events.Read More
"Britten Sinfonia conducted by Sian Edwards, bubbles away attractively while the vocal lines are engaging and communicative"Read More
"Sian Edwards gets sparkling playing from the Britten Sinfonia and Aletta Collins, the director, has delivered on all the story’s creepy special effects."Read More
"Sian Edwards, meanwhile, conducts the Britten Sinfonia with considerable panache."Read More
"The score – given a lovingly detailed reading by the Britten Sinfonia under Sian Edwards’s direction – is full of quirky pleasures: the organum duets for the Thesps, the spooky close-harmony music for the Ghost Children, and the scintillating orchestration for the mice."Read More
"Sian Edwards, conducting the excellent Britten Sinfonia, has a real understanding of this composer's work and teases out all the beauty and the beast in the score."Read More
"To achieve such richness musically with so little speaks volumes to the players and conductor Sian Edwards."Read More
"Turnage’s score, for 16 players, coloured by piano, celeste, harp, vibraphone and marimba, emphasised jazzy rhythms, snatched melody and waltz. Short vocal lines were picked up by orchestral response. In the absence of arias or ensembles (amplified offstage voices aside), this created an easy-to-follow musical coherence."Read More
"With the Britten Sinfonia in the pit, Sian Edwards conducts a clean and confident performance of a piece that has a good deal going for it, especially in a production as skilful as this one."Read More
"Turnage’s chamber-sized score (Sian Edwards conducted the Britten Sinfonia) is unexpectedly subdued, tending towards cor anglais-tinted lyricism over quietly bustling rhythms, with occasional, improbable flashes of colour"Read More
"Directed by Aletta Collins, with a vivid, rotating domestic-interior set by Giles Cadle, and conjuring tricks under the aegis of actual magicians (Richard Wiseman, David Britland), the two-act, two-hour show is admirably contrived and appeared to hold the attention of all around me."Read More
"the narrative and its personnel present a golden opportunity for music of vivid colours and rich atmosphere."Read More
"The Chamber scoring,, pungently delivered by 16 musicians from Britten Sinfonia and incisively conducted by Sian Edwards, certainly helps the audibility of Rory Mullarkey's libretto."Read More
"As a sung through piece it creates a heightened and surreal quality that is directly complimentary to this extraordinary story."Read More
"Delightful passages of aerated orchestration were perfectly rendered by conductor Sian Edwards and 16 virtuosi from the Britten Sinfonia"Read More