Starry Oke we call him…



This autumn, Alan Oke and Oliver Johnston join Opera North for a brand new production of the nautical drama ‘Billy Budd’, directed by Orpha Phelan and designed by Leslie Travers.

Set in 1797 on board HMS Indomitable, this masterpiece was composed by arguably one of the greatest British composers and is one of Britten’s largest operas, featuring an all-male chorus. The Opera North website describes the plot as “…the memories and reflections of the old Captain Vere, the action takes place in the much more abstract spaces of his mind, rather than on a literal ship. This set therefore has no mast or sails, but is an incredibly atmospheric space with spectacular split levels. The walls of cabins are created not from a material, but out of the men on stage, enhancing the sense of stifling claustrophobia on board a warship at sea…”

Alan is a leading exponent of the works of Britten, most memorably portraying the roles of Peter Grimes for the Aldeburgh Festival as part of the Britten Centenary celebrations and Aschenbach in ‘Death in Venice’ at the Prague State Opera, and the Aldeburgh and Bregenz Festivals. He performs the role of Captain Vere for Opera North.

Hot on the heels of his successful debut appearance at the BBC Last Night of the Proms, Oliver makes his house and role debut at Opera North as the Novice, before joining the Studio de l’Opéra de Lyon for Monteverdi’s ‘L’incoronazione di Poppea‘.

Performances of ‘Billy Budd’ run from Tuesday 18 October to Saturday 3 December in various locations. For more information, tickets and to see the promotional video, see the Opera North website. This is a co-production with Nederlandse Reisopera.

Performances are scheduled as follows:

Leeds, Grand Theatre
18, 21, 27*, 29 October

Newcastle, Theatre Royal
2 November

Salford, The Lowry
10 November

Nottingham, Theatre Royal
17 November

Edinburgh, Festival Theatre
1 and 3 December

* Thursday 27 October’s performance will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3

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