Hamlet (Glyndebourne 2017)

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Composer: Brett Dean

Director: Neil Armfield

Conductor: Vladimir Jurowski

Cast: Allan Clayton, Barbara Hannigan, Rod Gilfry, Sarah Connolly, David Butt Philip, Kim Begley, The Glyndebourne Chorus

London Philharmonic Orchestra

The world premiere recording of Brett Dean’s new opera based onShakespeare’s best-known tragedy: To be, or not to be. This is Hamlet’s dilemma, and the essence of Shakespeare’s most famous and arguably greatest work, given new life in operatic form in this originalGlyndebourne commission. Thoughts of murder and revenge driveHamlet when he learns that it was his uncle Claudius who killed his father, the King of Denmark, then seized his father’s crown and wife. But Hamlet’s vengeance vies with the question: is suicide a morally valid deed in an unbearably painful world?

Dean’s colourful, energetic, witty and richly lyrical music expertly captures the modernity of Shakespeare’s timeless tale, while also exploiting the traditional operatic elements of arias, ensembles and choruses. Matthew Jocelyn’s inspired libretto is pure Shakespeare, adhering to the Bard’s narrative thread but abridging, reconfiguring and interweaving it into motifs that highlight the main dramatic themes: death, madness, the impossibility of certainty and the complexities of action.

"With a reverent but mischievous take on the text and a superb cast led by tenor Allan Clayton, this world premiere production rises to the challenge set by Shakespeare’s great play" (The Guardian ****)

"Brilliant music, rapturously received Dean’s music offers great brilliance." (The Daily Telegraph ****)

International Opera Awards 2019, Nominated for Complete Opera Recording
More Information
Brand Glyndebourne
Discs 1
Format PAL, All regions
Suitable From 18 years
Includes Libretto No
Languages English
Place of Recording Glyndebourne
Running Time 2 hours 44 minutes
Live Recording Yes
Size 19.5 x 13.5 x 1.5cm
Subtitles English, French, German and Korean
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