Brett Dean's Hamlet

Neil Armfield (director), Vladimir Jurowski (conductor) – With Allan Clayton, Sarah Connolly, Barbara Hannigan, Rod Gilfry...

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Neil Armfield — Stage director

Ralph Myers — Set designer

Alice Babidge — Costume designer

Allan Clayton — Hamlet

Sarah Connolly — Gertrude

Barbara Hannigan — Ophelia

Rod Gilfry — Claudius

Kim Begley — Polonius

John Tomlinson — Ghost of Old Hamlet

Jacques Imbrailo — Horatio

David Butt Philip — Laertes

Rupert Enticknap — Rosencrantz

Christopher Lowrey — Guildenstern

The Glyndebourne Chorus

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Program notes

“New opera doesn’t often get to sound this good.” (The Guardian) The highlight of the 2017 Glyndebourne Festival was the incredible triumph of a brand-new opera from contemporary Australian composer Brett Dean! Based on the beloved Shakespearean play, Hamlet, the opera's all-star cast is headed up by tenor Allan Clayton as Hamlet and mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly as Gertrude. They are joined by the Glyndebourne Chorus, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of former Glyndebourne music director Vladimir Jurowski.

“Glyndebourne’s latest commission is unmissable — this is the operatic event of the year.” —The Sunday Times

Shakespeare's plays are quite literally the stuff operas are made of—more than three hundred operas have been inspired by his works—but some of his plays have lent themselves more easily to opera than others. Hamlet, with its tortuously dark plot and twisted characters, has proved to be a particular challenge—that is, until now!This summer, Glyndebourne presents Australian composer Brett Dean's newest contribution to the Shakespearean opera canon: a Hamlet whose many-layered music weaves long vocal lines with repetitive rhythmic figures and electronics. The libretto is based entirely on Shakespeare's text, although it occasionally redistributes lines among characters, including the famed 'To be, or not to be' soliloquy. The cast features stars at the top of their vocal game, with tenor Allan Clayton—whose "slow-burning intensity carries the tragedy to the bitter, grisly end" (The Guardian)—at the center of it all as Hamlet. The London Philharmonic performs brilliantly under the direction of Vladimir Jurowski, at Glyndebourne for the first time since he handed over his music directorship there four years ago.

“A magnificent new opera... don’t miss it!” —The Times

Photo: Richard Hubert Smith © Glyndebourne Productions Ltd.

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