17th October, 2004
Minghella to Direct
Anthony Minghella is to direct Madame Butterfly for English National
Opera next year. This will be his first experience of directing opera
but he has, he says, been a fan for twenty years. David Parry will conduct
and Mary Plazas will play the title role, her debut performance as Butterfly.
Minghella began his career as a playwright before moving into film
after his Truly Madly Deeply became a "hit" in 1991.
I am delighted," he said, "to be making my debut as
an opera director with ENO. The conductor David Parry is a close friend
and has nourished my love of opera for more than twenty years. Mary
Plazas is one of the most exciting singers in the country and it's thrilling
to collaborate with her on her first Butterfly."
Wisdom to Retire
Comedian, singer and actor Norman Wisdom is to retire next year, on
his 90th birthday, which will be on 4th February. He wants, he says,
to see more of his fmaily - and play more golf.
His career, which spans over fifty years, has been built around an
almost classical clown figure - the poor, downtrodden little man who
wins in the end. He is still physically fit - when well into his eighties
he demonstrated on television how he can still do his trademark pratfall
- and his health, he says, has nothing to do with his decision to retire.
My Darlin' Janey, the play about Calamity Jane which was to due
to begin previews at the King's Head on 19th October, has been cancelled.
Its director Angela Richards left because of "artistic differences"
and now its star Jerry Hall has glandular fever. It is not known whether
or not the production will be revived at a later date or what will replace
it at the King's Head, where it was due to run until 28th November.
Irons to Narrate Stravinsky
Jeremy Irons is to narrate a new production of Stravinsky's The Soldier's
Tale in a new translation by Jeremy Sams at the Old Vic on Sunday
21st November. Producers The Motion Group have reworked the piece to
make it relevant to the modern situation and intend to take it to Baghdad
in2005 in an effort to establish a relationship with artists in post-war
The musicians will be soloists from the Philharmonic Orchestra and
the part of the Soldier will be played by Eddie Redmayne
Sondheim at the National
Stephen Sondheim is to appear on stage at the National Theatre on 28th
October. This appearance is a replacement for the Platform which had
had to cancel earlier this year because of work commitments. He will
be talking about his work.
This Platform, which takes place in the Olivier at 6.00, coincides
with the National's revival of one of Sondheim's earlier works, A
Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
The cast recording of Batboy the Musical will be released in
the UK on 23rd October.
Jerry Springer the Opera has announced a new booking period,
to 1st October, 2005.
News Archive M-Z
Production News Archive
Please note that all three Archive
indices are very long and will therefore take some time to download.