Thursday 28 July sees the world premiere of Thomas Adès’ much anticipated third opera ‘The Exterminating Angel’, following his highly acclaimed two previous operas – ‘Powder Her Face’ (1995) and ‘The Tempest’ (2004). The new opera is based on Luis Buñuel’s iconic film ‘El ángel exterminador’ (Mexico 1962) and is an ensemble piece with a large cast featuring Sir Thomas Allen as Roc, Sophie Bevan as Beatriz, Iestyn Davies as Francisco and Christine Rice as Blanca. Librettist Tom Cairns directs the performances alongside Adès conducting the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien.
Discussing the subject matter of the piece on the ‘bourgeois condition’ with guests all trapped in one room, Adès has remarked “It’s territory that I like very much, because it looks as though the people are in a room, but it’s not really about the room; they’re actually trapped in their own heads.” Adès has been described by musicologist Richard Taruskin as a surrealist composer. Find out more about the opera in this Guardian interview with Adès.
The opera is a co-commission and co-production between the Salzburg Festival, The Royal Opera House, London, The Metropolitan Opera, New York, and The Royal Danish Opera.
Performances take place on 28 July, and 1, 5 & 8 August. Further information about the opera and performances can be found here. The world premiere will be broadcast live on ORF’s Ö1 channel, 28 July at 7:00 pm.
Adès will also perform his Piano Quintet (2000) with the Calder Quartet on 2 August in the Mozarteum Hall Salzburg. The concert will be recorded by the ORF radio for deferred broadcast on 8 & 16 August. Find out more here.
Many other Askonas Holt artists are also performing at this year’s Salzburg Festival. Find out more here.