Hamlet - Glyndebourne164 MINS201820th Century Onwards
Brett DeanNeil ArmfieldVladimir Jurowski
GlyndebourneNeil ArmfieldAllan ClaytonRod GilfryDavid Butt PhilipBarbara HanniganKim BegleyJacques ImbrailoJames Newby
The world premiere recording of Brett Dean's opera based on Shakespeare'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 original Glyndebourne commission. Thoughts of murder and revenge drive Hamlet when he learns that it was his uncle Claudius who killed his father, the King of Denmark, then seized his fathers 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. World Premiere of the Year, 2018 International Opera Awards. "One of the unmissable operatic events of the year" (The Sunday Times 4 Stars). "A richly imaginative composer at the top of his game" (The Times 4 Stars). "Dean's music is many-layered, full of long, clear vocal lines new opera doesn't often get to sound this good. Hannigan's spectacular high-soprano unhinging is the more shocking following her poise and inwardness" (The Guardian 4 Stars). "Clayton triumphs with unimpeachable vocal and acting credentials" (The Independent 4 Stars).