The Aspern Papers, a brand-new production of American composer Philip Hagemann’s adaptation of Henry James’ 1888 novella, will open this month at the Royal Academy of Music’s Susie Sainsbury Theatre, running for three performances only on Friday 22, Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 April 2022. Time to get booking!
The Aspern Papers is presented in association with Pegasus Opera Company. It is the first full opera produced by Philip Hagemann with his Hagemann Rosenthal Associates and Pegasus. Pegasus has previously had success with double bills of one-act Hagemann operas – Passion, Poison and Petrification and The Prodigal Son in 2021 and Shaw Goes Wilde, based on works by George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde, in 2019 – both also staged at the Royal Academy of Music.
The Aspern Papers is a novella by American writer Henry James, originally published in 1888. It is one of James’ best-known and most acclaimed longer tales. Set in 19th-century Venice, The Aspern Papers tells the tale of ambitious editor Henry Jonson, who is trying to obtain poet Jeffrey Aspern’s romantic letters to Juliana Bordereau – his beautiful muse and lover.
Philip Hagemann has adapted The Aspern Papers into a thrilling opera, retaining Henry James’ suspense throughout the story and staying true to the rich development of his characters. Simone Ibbet Brown directs.
Our wonderful director Simone Ibbet Brown talking to her cast and crew for the first time about her show concept for The Aspern Papers now on sale at https://t.co/ZQqu0nFiYD pic.twitter.com/Lm6RTWvB7B
— Pegasus Opera Company (@PegasusOpera) March 30, 2022
The Aspern Papers stars: Jacob Bettinelli, a bass baritone originally from Hong Kong, who won third place in the Piemonte Opera Voci dal Mondo International Singing Competition in Italy; Lauren Easton, an Australian/Mauritian mezzo soprano, who started her career 10 years ago at Glyndebourne Festival; plus Melody Compton, Oscar Castellino, Monwabisi Lindi and Julia Daramy-Williams.
Legendary tenor Ronald Samm also stars. His wide range of repertoire and appearances also include Tamino/Die Zauberflöte; Don Jose/Carmen for Pegasus Opera; Drum-Major/Wozzeck for Birmingham Opera Company; the title role in Britten’s The Prodigal Son; Jake/Porgy and Bess in Lisbon, Florestan in the multi-award-winning production of Fidelio, again for Birmingham Opera Company, directed by Graham Vick, Sigemund/Die Walküre at St John’s, Smith Square in London, Orpheus/Orpheus at Everyman Theatre, Cork, and Between Worlds at the Barbican Hall in London for English National Opera.
Artistic Director of Pegasus Opera Company and renowned soprano soloist Alison Buchanan plays Tina. She is the winner of many prestigious awards including the Kathleen Ferrier (Decca Prize), the Luciano Pavarotti, the Washington International and the Maggie Teyte competitions. Alison has performed with New York City Opera in Porgy & Bess and Don Giovanni.
Buchanan has performed in venues throughout the world including Carnegie Hall, The Sydney Opera House, The Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells for Pegasus Opera and for the London Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with The Baltimore and Boston Symphonies as well as the Philadelphia Orchestra and in Brazil with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and has given concerts in St. Louis, Washington DC, Gibraltar, Zimbabwe and Kazan. She has worked with conductors such as David Robertson, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Andre Previn, Jane Glover and Marin Alsop. Most recently she performed for Opera Bergen in Norway and for the Symphony in Wroclaw Poland.
The Aspern Papers runs from 20 to 24 April 2022 at the Susie Sainsbury Theatre, Royal Academy of Music, London, NW1 5HT, with performances Friday & Saturday 7.30pm, matinee Sunday 2.30pm. Tickets are priced from £15. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!!
About Pegasus Opera Company
Pegasus Opera Company is a professional opera company based in Brixton, London with a family of widespread international artists, participants and supporters. They produce high-quality performances and balance this with a focus on artist development of emerging artists of African and Asian heritage bringing their work onto eminent platforms.
For almost thirty years, Pegasus Opera Company has been the go-to organisation for opera and musical theatre singers, composers, instrumentalists and directors predominantly, but not exclusively, from diverse African, Caribbean, and Asian backgrounds. Established in South London the Company has held true to their founder Lloyd Newton’s credo of ‘harmony in diversity’.