Contemporary highlights in the ROH 2015/16 season

I don’t always pay attention to the season announcements from Covent Garden, but the release today of details of next year’s season caught my attention for two good reasons:

1) Georg Friedrich Haas: Morgen und Abend

I have my reservations about Haas’s music, yes, but he also does the big and dramatic better than most at the moment. Morgen und Abend, based on Jon Fosse’s novel Morgon og kveld, looks to hit all the key Haas themes: light/dark, mortality, decay. Graham Vick directs, too.

2) Philip Venables: 4.48 Psychosis

An adaptation of the fifth and last play by the late ‘in-yer-face‘ playwright Sarah Kane, author of the notorious Blasted. Venables has the right kind of form here – witness Fight Music, from his chamber opera Les Bâtisseurs D’Empire, which he describes as ‘absurdist cartoon horror’. Sarah Kane territory, then. Yet even by her own standards 4.48 Psychosis, a portrait of clinical depression completed shortly before Kane herself committed suicide, is a dark piece. A difficult one to bring to the operatic stage, but Venables is unlikely to shy away from its subject. I’m excited about this one.

In addition to these two new works, there are also forthcoming London premieres for Donnacha Dennehy’s The Last Hotel, Mark Simpson’s Pleasure, and Iain Bell’s In Parenthesis. The ROH’s production of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest from 2013 will also go to New York and the Barbican


4 thoughts on “Contemporary highlights in the ROH 2015/16 season

  1. The World Premiere of The Last Hotel is at Edinburgh in August. I haven’t heard Dennehy’s music at all. Is it worth a punt?

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