The British bastion of the high brow, aristocratic pursuit of opera is looking to shock its fans and gain new ones with a rather controversial programme for the 2013 season.
Opera has always been deemed a high class and highly cultures hobby, one that for those who never had the courage to venture into an opera house may seem distant and exclusive. In reality opera, especially the classic ones we all know, is accessible and heart wrenchingly beautiful, playing on our human senses and emotions, and therefore accessible to all.
The new director of the ROH, Kasper Holten, inspired by the cheaper performances reserved for younger neophytes at the English National Opera, has decided to go a step further this season and is trying out a rather impressive, yet risky program.
In order to attract the younger crowd, cult teenage novel, The Wasp Factory by Ian Banks has been set to music while a new piece by composer Matthew Herbert will trace the story of Faust, who sold his soul to the devil.
On an even more risqué note, the ROH will also stage the first ever British performance Luca Francesconi’s Quartett, which was itself inspired by Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The original tale is the story of two amoral former lovers who engage in explicit and cruel games to seduce and humiliate others.
The ROH is also planning more PG performances like The Importance of Being Earnest as to not alienate the family opera goers, as well as some more well known operas like the Puccini classics Tosca and La Bohème.
These unusual programme choices are supporter by more 21st century communication skills such as broadcasting online an entire day of live rehearsals and classes to give audience’s a glimpse into the secrets to their success.