The Royal College of Music Opera Studio takes off this summer


Jonathan Dove’s comic opera Flight lands at the Britten Theater at the Royal College of Music (RCM) next month with a special production by acclaimed director Jeremy Sams. In what will be Flight’s 35th staging, Jonathan Dove will also be involved in the production’s unique creative direction.

Flight has become one of the most popular and performed British operas of recent years. Sams’ reimagining for the RCM Opera Studio gives audiences the chance to experience history like never before, drawing on abstract ideas of timelessness, magic and mystery.

Set in an airport departure lounge, Flight tells the story of a group of passengers and crew whose planes are delayed by a storm. In a busy, always-on world, the characters are forced to pause, reflect on their lives, and reconsider their respective relationships. Although each couple has little in common on the surface, they are brought together by universal concerns of love, identity, hope, birth and death. The stories of this disparate group of people include an immigration officer, a diplomat and his pregnant wife, an older woman waiting for her young fiancé, and a horny married couple; all centered around a refugee stranded at the airport. The flight underscores the difference between us and the sense of humanity that connects us all.

Written for Glyndebourne in 1998, Flight propelled Jonathan Dove to international fame and has been staged around the world. The opera’s libretto, written by British playwright April de Angelis, is based on the true story of Mehran Nasseri, an Iranian refugee who was stranded at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport for 18 years. The harrowing story also inspired Steven Spielberg’s 2004 film The Terminal.

As is tradition for RCM Opera Studio productions, two casts will alternate performances, giving as many young singers as possible the chance to take the stage at the RCM’s Britten Theatre.

To reserve tickets, please visit the RCM website.


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