Joe Austin

Theatre and Opera Director



Aug
21
to Sep 30

Aida

Role: Assistant director
Director: Phelim McDermott
Company: English National Opera

I will be assisting Phelim McDermott on the forthcoming new production of Aida at English National Opera. 

More details to come soon.

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May
15
to Jun 15

Tosca

Role: Associate director
Company: Nevill Holt
Original director: Oliver Mears

Performances 15/17/18/20/22 June 2017

A revival of Oliver Mears' Tosca first produced at NI Opera. 

Tosca's desperate and ruthless passion in a time of political turmoil has held audiences in its spell since it was first performed. With unforgettably beautiful music and a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat, join us for a heart-racing night of love, passion and betrayal.

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Apr
24
to May 19

Sukanya

Role: Assistant director
Company: Royal Opera House, London Philharmonic, Leicester Curve Theatre
Director: Suba Das

World premiere and UK tour of Ravi Shankar's only opera, Sukanya.

After a terrible mistake leaves the ancient sage Chyavana blinded, the beautiful princess Sukanya finds herself marrying for the sake of her kingdom. As a pair of swaggering, meddling gods watch this unlikely union blossom, will love grow in the strangest of circumstances?

Taken from the legendary Sanskrit texts of the Mahābhārata, the story of Sukanya has been brought to life in this innovative production with music by Indian music legend Ravi Shankar and combines traditional Indian instruments with Western orchestra and singers. This performance is directed by Curve Associate Director Suba Das and unites dance choreographed by the Aakash Odedra Company, production by The Royal Opera and the musicians of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
 

 

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Dec
19
to Jan 27

Don Giovanni

Role: Revival director
Location: Basel Opera
Original direction: Richard Jones

I will be directing the co-production of Don Giovanni which first performed at English National Opera earlier this year. 

Don Giovanni is an exhilarating retelling of the Don Juan legend. Combining comedy and tragedy, it follows Giovanni’s final 24 hours as he lusts his way towards his dramatic demise. Filled with Mozart’s glorious music, it includes the famous ‘Catalogue’ aria detailing Giovanni’s long list of lovers.

Award-winning director Richard Jones brings his unique theatrical imagination to this new production with set design by Paul Steinberg, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, and lighting design by Mimi Jordan Sherin. 

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Jun
6
to Aug 27

Fanciulla del West

Role: Associate director
Santa Fe Opera
Director: Richard Jones

Minnie, the indomitable heroine of La Fanciulla del West, can hold her own with the boys at her saloon. She loves her solitary life in the mountains, but she loves her man more. Yes, you’ve met her before: First imagined by David Belasco, a giant of the American theater, she set the pattern for women characters in scores of Westerns. But on the opera stage, her authenticity will astonish you. Puccini deemed La Fanciulla del West his best opera; critics call it his most “perfectly crafted score.” The harsh realities of the California Gold Rush and its gritty characters have never been more honestly portrayed in drama. Distinguished American soprano Patricia Racette (The Letter, 2009) makes her role debut as Minnie, who will do just about anything to get her man — the outlaw Dick Johnson, portrayed by Gwyn Hughes Jones (La Bohème, 2007). But that leads to a tense, climactic face-off with his competition, the shady sheriff Jack Rance, sung by Mark Delavan (Arabella, 2012). Staged by British Theatre and opera director Richard Jones in his company debut, and co-produced with the English National Opera, this production won the 2015 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. Emmanuel Villaume (The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, 2013) conducts.

Performances from 1st July - 27th August

For more information please see the Santa Fe website here

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Der Ring des Nibelungen
Mar
21
to Jul 10

Der Ring des Nibelungen

Position: Associate director
Opera North concert tour
Director: Peter Mumford

Wagner's masterpiece is being revived with six complete cycles being performed in five cities across Britain in 2016. Beginning with two cycles in Leeds Town Hall, followed by performances at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, The Lowry in Salford Quays, Southbank Centre London and finally Sage, Gateshead. 

The concert tour that has been running for the previous four years is returning with many of the original cast performing once again.

Performances 23rd April - 10th July.  

Tickets and further information can be found at Opera North

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Akhnaten
Jan
18
to Mar 4

Akhnaten

New production
Role: staff director
Director: Phelim McDermott
Conductor: Karen Kamensek
English National Opera

Performances: 4th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 15th, 17th, 18th March

Akhnaten explores the life and religious convictions of the Egyptian pharaoh, and forms the last of Philip Glass’s trilogy of ‘portrait’ operas in which he looks at figures from the fields of science (Einstein), politics (Gandhi) and religion (Akhnaten).

This hypnotically mesmerising work uses texts drawn from ancient hymns, prayers, letters and inscriptions sung in their original Egyptian, Hebrew and Akkadian.

This extraordinary work has not been seen in London for 30 years. ENO’s new production is directed by Improbable theatre company’s Phelim McDermott and follows his spectacular stagings of Glass’s Satyagraha and The Perfect American.Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo sings the title role, while conductor Karen Kamensek, a specialist in Glass’s music, makes her ENO debut.

For more information and to book tickets go to the English National Opera website

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The Force of Destiny
Sep
28
to Nov 9

The Force of Destiny

Verdi's La Forza del Destino in English translation
Role: Staff director
Director: Calixto Bieito
Conductor: Mark Wigglesworth
English National Opera

Performances: 9th, 13th, 18th, 20th, 25th, 27th November, 2nd, 4th December

A new production of Verdi's The Force of Destiny directed by Calixto Bieito and conducted by ENO's new Music Director. 

The youthful lovers Leonora and Alvaro have no idea that their feelings for each other will unleash a devastating chain of events as fate takes its inescapable grip on everyone’s lives.

ENO’s first new staging of The Force of Destiny in over 20 years is directed by Calixto Bieito, who sets the production in the 1930s, during the Spanish Civil War.

A world-class cast including star tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones, baritone Anthony Michaels-Moore and the exciting soprano Tamara Wilson as Leonora.

For more information and to book tickets please go to English National Opera's website

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Salome
Sep
24
to Oct 2

Salome

Role: Director
Conductor: Kirill Karabits
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
30th September @ Lighthouse Concert Hall, Poole
2nd October @ Birmingham Symphony Hall, Birmingham

This will be a semi-staged concert performance of Richard Strauss' Salome. The first rate cast will include Lise Lindstrom as Salome, James Rutherford as Jochanaan, and Kim Begley as Herodes. 

One of the most ground-breaking works of the 20th century, Strauss' 1905 opera caused a sensation with its almost unimaginable orchestral power and dramatically gripping story-telling. The libretto is Strauss' own German translation of Oscar Wilde's lurid retelling of the biblical story of Salome, who dances for King Herod and in return can ask for whatever she wishes. Its highly innovative music matches the psychological ambiguity and intensity of the plot. 

For further information and tickets go to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra website

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Apr
27
to Jun 11

Queen of Spades

Role: Assistant Director
English National Opera
Performances 6 / 9 / 11 / 17 / 19 / 23 / 25 / 30 June, 2 July
Director: David Alden
Designer: Gideon Davey

In Tchaikovsky's powerfully dark masterpiece The Queen of Spades, an aged Countess possesses the secret of winning infallibly at cards. On hearing of her remarkable power, an impoverished army officer resolves to wrest it from her at any price – even death.

Based on a short story by Pushkin, Tchaikovsky’s opera about greed and obsession is packed with soaring melodies and sumptuous orchestration. This rich score will be conducted by Edward Gardner in his final production with ENO as Music Director. Following on from their critically acclaimed collaborations on Otello and Peter Grimes, he reunites with Olivier Award-winning director David Alden for the company’s first production of The Queen of Spades in over 20 years

The excellent cast is led by international tenor Peter Bronder as the ambitious officer Hermann; soprano Giselle Allen as Lisa, the old Countess’s grand-daughter whom he shamelessly uses; and renowned mezzo-soprano Felicity Palmer as the Countess.

The Queen of Spades is sung and surtitled in English | Running time: 3hrs 10mins

Tickets from ENO box office. 

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Sweeney Todd
Mar
9
to Apr 11

Sweeney Todd

Role: Assistant director
English National Opera
Director: Lonny Price
Dates of performance: 30th March - 10th April

Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson and international star Bryn Terfel reprise their roles as Mrs Lovett and Sweeney Todd in this concert staging of Stephen Sondheim’s gloriously gruesome musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Find out the macabre secret behind Mrs Lovett’s irresistibly delicious pies when this acclaimed staging comes to ENO in spring 2015, following sell-out performances at New York’s Lincoln Center.

English National Opera is thrilled to celebrate Sondheim’s 85th birthday with this thrilling semi-staged production of one of his most popular works.

Performed by an all-star cast and showcasing some of the composer’s most memorable melodies, this grisly entertaining tale at the London Coliseum is not to be missed!

For further details and tickets please click here

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Mastersingers of Nuremberg
Feb
7
to Mar 10

Mastersingers of Nuremberg

Role: Assistant director
English National Opera
Performances 14 / 18 / 21 / 25 Feb, 3 / 7 / 10 March
Director: Richard Jones
Set design: Paul Steinberg

From the opening bars of the ever-popular overture, Wagner’s The Mastersingers of Nuremberg is conceived on a truly epic scale, full of glorious melodies, stirring choruses and thrilling orchestration.

ENO’s major new production of Wagner’s comedy sees Richard Jones’s acclaimed staging come to the London Coliseum for the first time. Jones provides a characteristically witty and clear retelling of Wagner’s drama about the 16th-century guild of amateur poets and musicians (the Mastersingers), in which the tension between creativity and conformity is played out in a society obsessed with rules and regulations.

An exceptional cast has been assembled under ENO Music Director Edward Gardner. Leading Wagnerian bass-baritone Iain Paterson sings his first Sachs, while the brilliant singing- actor Andrew Shore makes his stage role debut as Beckmesser.

Tickets available from ENO box office. 

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    Nov
    14
    to Nov 23

    Albert Herring

    My second opera with Hampstead Garden Opera will be a return to Albert Herring. 

    More details to follow. 

    For information on auditions please go to the HGO website

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    Götterdämmerung
    May
    19
    to Jul 12

    Götterdämmerung

    Assisting Peter Mumford in Opera North's final opera of Wagner's Ring Cycle, concluding a highly successful staged concert production. Richard Farnes conducts with Alwyn Mellor as Brünnhilde and Daniel Brenna as Siegfried. 

    More information, including dates and times of performance can be found on the Opera North website

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    La Calisto
    Apr
    25
    to May 4

    La Calisto

    • Upstairs at the Gatehouse (map)
    • Google Calendar ICS

    Directing Cavalli's La Calisto for Hampstead Garden Opera at Upstairs at the Gatehouse

    This is one of Cavalli's best-loved works today but was largely forgotten in its day. This opera follows the story of Jove's seduction of Calisto, and the blossoming relationship of Diana and Endymion. La Calisto explores many different qualities and expressions of love through the many different characters.

    Book now as this production will sell-out. 

    Dates from April 25th - May 4th.

    www.upstairsatthegatehouse.com
    0208 340 3468

    Teresa Pells and Rachel Wood as Calisto
    Zoe Freedman and Felicity Turner as Diana
    Peter Brooke and Chris Webb as Jove
    Harriet Burns and Joanna Harris as Jove-as-Diana
    James Hall and Adrien Mastrosimone as Endymion
    Tom Dupernex and David Fearn as Mercury
    Philippa Boyle and Susanna Fairbairn as Juno
    Victoria Pym and Madeleine Sexton as Satirino
    Emily Armour and Joanne Watson as Lynfea
    Tom Morss as Pan
    Michael Pandazis as Silvano

    Musical direction by Oliver-John Ruthven
    Orchestra: Musica Poetica London

     

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    Dec
    13
    7:30 PM19:30

    St Nicolas

    A community project organised by Opera North Education Department. The community chorus will work alongside professionals for this festive staged concert. Click here  for further information. 

    Conductor: Tim Burke
    St Nicolas: Mark Le Brocq
    Opera North Community Chorus
    Chorus of Opera North
    Orchestra of Opera North
      

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    Nov
    25
    1:00 PM13:00

    Vivienne

    • Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House (map)
    • Google Calendar ICS

    Composer: Stephen McNeff
    Performer: Clare McCaldin
    Piano: Libby Burgess 

    The final performance of a five star show at the Linbury Theatre, ROH. The performance will form part of their lunchtime concert series. 

    For more information please click   here

    Transient
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    Nov
    19
    7:30 PM19:30

    Lo Speziale

    A semi staging of Haydn's opera, performed in English with Retrospect Ensemble. Click here for further details and tickets. 
     

    Cast:
    Sempronio: Robert Murray
    Volpino: Louise Innes
    Mengone: Alex Sprague
    Grilletta: Ildiko Allen
     
    Conductor: Justin Doyle
    Repetiteur: Joe McHardy
     Designer: Tom Oldham

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     © Joe Austin 2016