“For idle hearts and hands and minds the Devil finds work to do”. Igor Stravinsky saw William Hogarth’s set of eight 18th century paintings and engravings of London life and created a groundbreaking opera on them. WH Auden’s poetic English libretto resonates with the speech and danger of those London streets. The Rake’s Progress is a devastating morality play, packed with wit, satire, high comedy, and tragedy. It dances on a pin of laughter and ridicule. Stravinsky’s score is a modern Mozart opera, infused with delicious parody and celebration of the earlier genius’ music. This new production will be created by the celebrated prize-winning director/designer Antony McDonald. Tom Primrose, our 2023 chorus master, conducts. The cast is a roll-call of British stars. Emerging tenor Adam Temple Smith and Alexandra Oomens, critically praised as Euridice and Belinda in our 2023 Double Bill, sing the young lovers Tom Rakewell and Anne Trulove. Scottish/Iranian bass-baritone Michael Mofidian is Nick Shadow; Rosie Aldridge Baba the Turk, Catherine Wyn-Rogers Mother Goose and John Graham Hall the Auctioneer, Sellem. Tears of laughter and sadness will flow in equal measure.

Works and composers

Stravinsky The Rake's Progress