Wednesday 24 Sep 2014
BBC Four today announces it will broadcast ENO's highly acclaimed new production of Berlioz's The Damnation Of Faust directed by Terry Gilliam, this autumn. The production, under the former Monty Python's direction, transposes Berlioz's dramatic legend to the rise of Nazism in 20th-century Germany to stunning visual and musical effect, and features a stellar cast of Christine Rice, Peter Hoare and Christopher Purves, with an inspired set by Hildegard Bechtler. ENO's orchestra and chorus are conducted by ENO Music Director Edward Gardner.
The broadcast will be introduced for BBC Four by Terry Gilliam himself, and continues the station's long-standing commitment to performing arts.
Jan Younghusband, Commissioning Editor for BBC Music and Events, comments: "We're thrilled to be bringing ENO back to BBC Television. Terry Gilliam's opera directing debut has been hailed as a triumph, and we're delighted to make this major event in the opera calendar accessible to an even wider audience."
John Berry, ENO's Artistic Director, says: "Terry Gilliam and ENO have set the benchmark for Berlioz's extraordinary piece. I'm delighted the BBC and ENO are working together again and that the BBC is helping us bring opera to a wider audience."
Terry Gilliam's vivid imagination and ability to bring his often surreal vision of the world to life is a trademark of his work. His unforgettable animation for Monty Python has led to an esteemed career in Hollywood, his films often characterised by eye-popping, magical interpretations of reality – from Time Bandits and Brazil through to The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus and Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas.
Berlioz wrote The Damnation Of Faust with clear directions of setting and action to guide the performers' imaginations, but never expected the directions to be physically realised. Berlioz was a maverick figure who, despite his veneration for composers such as Gluck and Beethoven, pushed the boundaries of the art form
The Damnation of Faust is a co-production between ENO, De Vlaamse Opera and La Fondazione Teatro Massimo.
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