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Ludd and Isis

production poster

Composer: Richard Taylor
Librettist : Stephen Plaice
Director: Tom Guthrie
Designer: Rhys Jarman

Ludd - James Oldfield
Isis - Tamsin Dalley
Stoker - Andrew Slater
Jo - Cheryl Enever
Edgar - Andrew Rees
Mrs Grantham - Sarah Pring
Upper River Nymph - Nicola Wydenbach
Lower River Nymph - Claire McCaldin
Digby/Kittywake - Robert Burt
Manyships/ Harry - Grant Doyle
Prow - Simon Lobelson

Dancers of the Royal Ballet:
Jo - Mara Galeazzi, Laura Morera
Edgar - Ryoichi Hirano, Bennet Gartside

Thurrock Community Chorus

Première: ROH Production Park Purfleet 6th November 2010


'Serendipity perhaps, but this year both of LondonÆs opera companies have taken over buildings far to the east of their normal homes for new operas. Where English National Opera in the summer teamed up with immersive proponents Punchdrunk in a deserted office block at Gallions Reach in Docklands for Thorsten RaschÆs "The Duchess of Malfi", the Royal Opera House here celebrates its brand-new production workshop in Purfleet (replacing its previous premises in Stratford, subject to compulsory purchase and now re-fashioned as part of the Olympic Park), with a community opera "Ludd and Isis", composed by Richard Taylor to a libretto bursting with local allusions and references by Stephen Plaice.

I can unequivocally state which was the more enjoyable. "Ludd and Isis" wins by at least the 11 miles between the two venues. Involving copious members of the Purfleet community, including children who have been practicing for eighteen months, and performed in the central section of the tripartite Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop on the hillside banks of the Thames just west of the rising span of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, it was a moving evening.'

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