English Touring Opera recently announced the casting for their upcoming production of Dame Judith Weir’s “Blond Eckbert”. This opera, a co-production with Britten Pears Arts, will kick off the 75th Aldeburgh Festival on Friday, June 7 at Snape Maltings Concert Hall. The production will later tour as part of a double-bill in ETO’s Autumn 2024 season.

Baritone Simon Wallfisch will take on the title role, marking his return to ETO since 2015. Soprano Aoife Miskelly will portray Bird, a role she received critical acclaim for in 2023. The cast also includes mezzo-soprano Flora McIntosh as Berthe and tenor William Morgan in various roles. Directed by ETO’s General Director Robin Norton-Hale and conducted by Music Director Gerry Cornelius, “Blond Eckbert” tells a haunting tale of isolation and enigma.

In addition to the Aldeburgh Festival, the opera will tour the country as part of ETO’s Autumn 2024 season, along with a new production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “The Snow Maiden”. More details and venues for the tour will be announced later.

Norton-Hale expressed excitement about the production, mentioning the Hitchcockian sense of foreboding in Weir’s score. Meanwhile, ETO is also presenting Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress” and Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” at Snape Maltings Concert Hall in their Spring 2024 season.

Tickets for “Blond Eckbert” at the Aldeburgh Festival are now available for purchase on the Britten Pears Arts website. For more information on ETO’s productions and upcoming shows, visit their website.

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