Brett Dean's new opera Hamlet has won enthusiastic applause from press and public alike at its Glyndebourne premiere. The staging can be seen as a live film transmission in UK cinemas on 6 July and will be streamed online for the following week.
The Glyndebourne production of Hamlet, the new opera by Brett Dean, has attracted a wealth of excellent reviews following its premiere last month, with praise shared for the composer's sure dramatic handling and sonic imagination, the distillation of Shakespeare's multiple texts by librettist Matthew Jocelyn, and Neil Armfield's powerful staging. The starry cast was led by Allan Clayton in the title role, Barbara Hannigan, Sarah Connolly, Rod Gilfry and John Tomlinson, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Glyndebourne Chorus under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski.
UK audiences can see this premiere staging at a selection of cinemas, when the performance on 6 July is filmed and transmitted from the opera house.
The filmed performance of Hamlet will also be available for the following week to international audiences via webcasts with worldwide access from the Glyndebourne and Telegraph websites:
Following its run at the summer festival, Hamlet will return on Glyndebourne's autumn tour between 21 October and 1 December with performances at Glyndebourne, the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, the Theatre Royal in Norwich, Milton Keynes Theatre and the Theatre Royal in Plymouth.
"A magnificent new opera on Hamlet ... Forget Cumberbatch. Forget even Gielgud. I haven’t seen a more physically vivid, emotionally affecting or psychologically astute portrayal of the Prince of Denmark than Allan Clayton gives in this sensational production."
"Brilliant music, rapturously received... Dean is rare among contemporary opera composers in understanding how to present people singing together - the forceful duets, ensembles and choruses are highlights of the score..."
The Sunday Times
"Glyndebourne’s latest commission is unmissable – this is the operatic event of the year... The orchestra evokes Dean's grippingly atmospheric sounds with a fascinating spectrum of colour and unerring virtuosity."
"... it rises to the challenge set by Shakespeare’s great play ... Jurowski secures a performance of this unfamiliar, complex score that makes it sound bedded in already, and draws out some fantastic vocal performances too... new opera doesn’t often get to sound this good."
"The score is a never-ending array of arresting effects… What Dean has in spades is an absolutely sure touch with drama: how to create it and how it works."
"…a dark, complex, sometimes wryly postmodern slant on the play… there are no limits to where Dean finds his music – amplified chattering noises, singing groups from the balconies, and a virtuoso array of orchestral effects like the gravedigger’s otherworldly whistling."
"…an ingenious deconstruction of Shakespeare… Brett Dean's score is endlessly inventive"
"Brett Dean’s hugely effective music… a truly remarkable experience."
Sydney Morning Herald
"…heart-wrenchingly beautiful opera... sonically mesmerising."
Limelight Magazine Australia
"Brett Dean wrangles the moody Dane into two-and-half hours of thrilling music…"
Australian Book Review
"Hamlet is an important and significant addition to contemporary opera."
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
"…a psychological drama has been created which focuses on the tense web of relationships in the Danish royal family."
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
"...the strengths of the composition ultimately lie in its craftsmanlike authority..."
"Dean’s music is virtuosic, varied and has moments of great beauty… this is the true essence of Shakespeare’s play, superbly sung and acted – a riveting evening."
"…a score whose sound-world is complex yet immediate"
What’s On Stage
"…a new opera of dizzying colours... A hefty dose of proper Shakespeare… A trio of Ophelia scenes (mad; dead; buried) is everything an opera ought to be: theatrically coherent, searing and gripping."
Watch a trailer of Hamlet at Glyndebourne:
Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
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