From Britten to Weir, 12th-century Icelandic saga to Romantic tragedy, five rising stars of opera command the stage in the ultimate display of vocal prowess and charisma: solo drama. Works by five iconic British composers of the 20th and 21st centuries delve into the minds and souls of mythical and historical figures.

Britten’s Phaedra explores the fate of the queen of Greek myth as reimagined in the 17th century by Racine. Bennett’s Ophelia inhabits the pale robes of Rimbaud’s tragic, waterborn maiden, while Berkeley’s Four Poems of St. Teresa of Avilaset poetic spiritual raptures of the 16th-century Spanish mystic. Weir’s King Harald’s Saga is a microcosm of a three-act opera for unaccompanied soprano, chronicling the attempted Norwegian invasion of England in 1066. And Davies’s Eight Songs for a Mad King ricochets through the tortured mind of King George III in an extended, virtuosic mad scene that challenges perception and reality.

Phaedra for Mezzo-soprano, Strings, and Percussion by Benjamin Britten featuring Erica Brookhyser
Ophelia for Countertenor and Strings by Richard Rodney Bennett
Four Poems of St. Teresa of Avila for Contralto and Strings by Lennox Berkeley featuring Stephanie Kacoyanis
King Harald’s Saga for Solo Soprano by Judith Weir featuring Elizabeth Keusch
Eight Songs for a Mad King for Baritone and Ensemble by Peter Maxwell Davies featuring Thomas Meglioranza

Approximate Running Time: 90 minutes with one 20 minute intermission


Part of the British Invasion Festival

Purchase multiple nights of opera in repertory and receive 15% off your tickets. Select the "take MORE shows" price type when selecting seats.


The Huntington