London theatre news: Wednesday 21 November 2018

London Fringe - Opera - Shows

The first opera from the King's Head Theatre next year will be a radical new take on the world's greatest tragedy, 'Carmen', in a new English version by Ashley Pearson and Mary Franklin.
Carmen at the King's Head Theatre

Image courtesy King's Head Theatre

The King's Head Theatre's first opera of 2019 will be a radical new take on the world's greatest tragedy, Carmen, in a new English version by Ashley Pearson and Mary Franklin.

The Olivier Award nominated producers of La Traviata, La Bohème and Tosca aim to present a vivid, compelling and powerful take on Georges Bizet's masterpiece.

The production will be sung in English, and will blend stark emotional realism with some of the world's best loved music.

Carmen will be at the King's Head Theatre from Thursday 7 February to Saturday 9 March 2019, and promises to be a highly original version which will examine toxic relationships in a society on the brink of collapse.

Artistic Director Adam Spreadbury-Maher, says ...

"At the King's Head Theatre, we believe passionately in disrupting the preconceptions and conventional wisdom of how to make opera.

I'm overjoyed to be working with Ashley, Juliane and Mary, who began her career with us as a Trainee Resident Director, as they tear up the rulebook.

Their bold, fresh, uncompromising take on Carmen is like nothing you'll have ever seen before!"

Director, Mary Franklin, added ...

Carmen is not a femme fatale, she is simply a young woman who falls out of love.

Almost every woman in the world can relate to her story.

It's a story of the uncontrollable nature of love and lust, and of what happens after happily ever after."

Ashley Pearson - Director & Co-Librettist

Ashley Pearson is a London-based librettist, writer and director.

Ashley has worked as an Associate Director with Opera Works at the English National Opera and as an Assistant Director at the Royal Opera House, Royal College of Music, Lyric Opera Studio Weimar and OperaUpClose.

Ashley's writing, including the libretto for a Shakespeare inspired opera, Music Oft hath Such a Charm, and modern adaptations of Shakespeare and Ibsen, has been seen in London and around the UK.

Ashley holds a Masters in Theatre Directing from East 15 Acting School, and has studied theatre at GITIS (Russian University of Theatre Arts) and Seacoast Theatre Centre.

She holds a BA&Sc specialising in Mathematics and Theatre from Quest University Canada.

Mary Franklin - Director & Co-Librettist

Mary is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Rough Haired Pointer.

Education includes BA Hons in English Literature (Oxford University).

Directing credits include The Diary Of A Nobody (King's Head Theatre, White Bear Theatre); Christie In Love (King's Head Theatre); The Young Visiters (Tabard Theatre, Hen and Chickens Theatre); Noonday Demons (King's Head Theatre), the World Premiere of Joe Orton's Fred & Madge (Hope Theatre); Marco Polo (Hen and Chickens Theatre); The Boy Who Cried (Hope Theatre, Tabard Theatre) and Cleopatra (King's Head Theatre, Hope Theatre).

Assistant directing includes La Traviata (Opera Holland Park); Blown Away (Lyric Hammersmith, UK Tour); Tosca (Soho Theatre, UK Tour); Quasimodo (King's Head Theatre); Filter (Sadler's Wells); Arab Nights (Soho Theatre) and The Invention Of Love (Oxford Playhouse).

Juliane Gallant - Musical Director

Canadian pianist and conductor Juliane Gallant holds a Masters of Performance in Piano Accompaniment from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Juliane has worked on Don Giovanni, Carmen (Opera on Location); Cosi fan tutte, Orphée aux enfers (St Paul's Opera); The Tales of Hoffmann revisited (Opera Mio); The Medium (Magnetic Opera); La bohème (Clapham Opera Festival); Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini Young Artists) and Carmen, Ulla's Odyssey (Opera Upclose).

She also regularly performs with Opera Holland Park's award-winning outreach programme Inspire.

Juliane has appeared at Wigmore Hall, the Barbican and on West End stages.

She was one of 12 women participating in the first Women Conductors course, a collaboration between the Royal Opera House, the National Opera Studio, and the Royal Philharmonic Society, and is a current bursary recipient from the Opera Awards Foundation.

Show listing information


The King's Head Theatre opens its 2019 opera programme with a brand new English version of Bizet's greatest opera, Carmen.

A fresh, exhilarating take on the classic tale of passion, jealousy and danger accompanied by Bizet's soaring, intricate music that promises to be truly unmissable.


Author: Georges Bizet


King's Head Theatre
115 Upper Street
N1 1QN


From: Thursday 7 February 2019

Closed: Saturday 9 March 2019


Previews: £10 - £14


Monday - Thursday & Matinees:

Premium                        £27.50

Standard                        £23.50

Dinner & Theatre Package £40.00

Friday & Saturday Evening:

Premium                        £35.00

Standard                        £23.50

Dinner & Theatre Package £50.00

Concessions: £19.50, £10 (under 30), £5 unwaged (matinees)

Links for this news item

Show website
ActDrop full listing for Carmen

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