English National Opera (ENO) will return to the London Coliseum this October to perform the first production of their new season: the fourth revival of Phelim McDermott’s record-breaking production of Satyagraha.
A collaboration between the ENO and theatre company Improbable, Satyagraha marries Philip Glass’s meditative score with mesmerising stagecraft.
Exploring the concept of Satyagraha, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘truth force’ – the opera traverses Mahatma Gandhi’s development of non-violent protests as a political tool. Written entirely in Sanskrit, the work considers the power of group activism and the change that can come about through the actions of communities.
Satyagraha will be led by American tenor Sean Panikkar as M.K. Gandhi, alongside South African bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana as Lord Krishna, British bass William Thomas (current ENO Harewood Artist) as Parsi Rustomji, British soprano Gabriella Cassidy as Miss Schlesen, British baritone Ross Ramgobin as Prince Arjuna, and British lyric soprano Verity Wingate as Mrs Naidoo.
The cast is completed by British baritone James Cleverton as Mr Kallenbach, British mezzo Felicity Buckland as Kasturbai, and British mezzo Sarah Pring, who returns to the role of Mrs Alexander following 2018’s revival.
The Olivier Award-winning ENO Chorus also takes a central role as the mass force for change under Gandhi’s inspired leadership. Integrated with the ENO Chorus are 14 members of a skills ensemble including aerialists, puppeteers, acrobats and performers from Improbable.
Satyagraha will be conducted by Taiwanese conductor Carolyn Kuan – Music Director at the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in the US – in her much anticipated ENO debut.
The Revival Director is Peter Relton, and the Set Designer and Associate Director is Julian Crouch. Kevin Pollard is the Costume Designer, with Paule Constable as the Lighting Designer, and the Revival Lighting Designer is Kevin Sleep. The Video Designers are Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer, and the Revival Movement Director and Puppetry is Rob Thirtle.
Satyagraha opens on Thursday 14 October 2021 at the London Coliseum for 7 performances: 14, 16, 20, 23, 27 and 28 October at 19.00 and 17 October at 15.00