The death of a dissident
A world première
This summer, we stage the world première of The Life & Death of Alexander Litvinenko, a story with all the classic ingredients for an opera: power, politics, betrayal, love, jeopardy.
Composed by Anthony Bolton to a libretto by Kit Hesketh-Harvey, this real-life story is told through a series of flashbacks and flash-forwards covering events in Russia that lead Litvinenko to seek exile and his family’s life in Muswell Hill. Extensive use is made of historic film footage.
Bolton’s musical language is contemporary and incorporates the lyrical tradition of the Russian masters Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich. The opera includes some direct quotes. For example, the Act 2 Blenheim Palace ballroom scene quotes Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Elsewhere Bolton uses an army marching song, a Moscow football team anthem and the Chechen national anthem.
Sasha’s life story is told through a series of flashbacks and flash-forwards covering his life in Russia, the events that led him to seek exile and his family’s new life in London. Substantial use is made of historic film footage.
Australian tenor Adrian Dwyer is Alexander Litvinenko. Recent engagements include D’Esperaudieu in Gerald Barry’s The Intelligence Park at Covent Garden and Anatole War and Peace for Welsh National Opera.
Andrew Slater makes his house debut as Boris Berezovsky. Andrew has sung principal roles worldwide.
He has appeared with English Touring Opera over a number of years, in major roles that include Falstaff, Bottom, Commendatore, Bartolo (both Mozart and Rossini), Olin Blitch (Susannah), Don Alfonso and most recently Banquo in Macbeth.
English soprano Rebecca Bottone makes her house début as Marina Litvinenko.
Rebecca studied at the Royal Academy of Music.
Recent engagements include Tytania A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Garsington, First Innocent in the world première of Birtwistle’s Minotaur and First Niece Peter Grimes at the Royal Opera House.