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Ustinov Studio Deborah Warner presents

Phaedra and Minotaur

Pheadra by Benjamin Britten Sung by Christine Rice; Minotaur by Kim Brandstrup
  • 12 - 23 August
Phaedra and Minotaur

Event Information

Evenings 7.30pm
Press Night Thursday 18 7pm

Fri 12 — Tue 23 Aug

Benjamin Britten’s cantata Phaedra was written in 1975 for mezzo soprano Janet Baker. It was to be Britten’s last vocal work. Whilst often performed in concert, stagings of this intense and erotic work are still rare..

Following the success of Deborah Warner’s production at the Royal Opera House in 2020, music director Richard Hetherington and Olivier award nominee Christine Rice will re-imagine the piece in a piano version, specially developed for the intimate spaces of the Ustinov Studio.

On the day of her wedding to Theseus, Phaedra catches sight of his young son Hippolytus. She falls instantly in love. Consumed by lust and a longing for a love she knows cannot be requited, death will be her only escape. The scalding power of Britten’s score pushes Phaedra towards her doom in a remarkable and thrilling drama.

Christine Rice is one of the leading British singers of her generation, a regular performer at the major European opera houses, including Royal Opera House, Zurich, Glyndebourne, Madrid, Salzburg Festival, The Met, Munich, Deutsche Oper Berlin and English National Opera

★ ★ ★ ★ “Performances are terrific. Rice’s Phaedra is powerhouse stuff”, Richard Hetherington urgently propelling Britten’s score forward” Guardian

The second part of the evening features the world premiere of a newly commissioned dance piece, Minotaur, choreographed by Olivier Award-winner Kim Brandstrup, renowned for his work over four decades with The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, English National Ballet and Rambert. Often depicted as a creature of great masculine power and invincible strength, the Minotaur is also a creature trapped, isolated and abandoned. The Greek hero’s journey into the labyrinth is a confrontation with this ambiguous world of masculinity. Ariadne – the sister of Phaedra – stands by the entrance to the maze. She wheels out the thread that will secure – hopefully – a safe return.

Performance Schedule 7.30pm – August 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23
Press Night Thursday 18 August 7pm
All tickets £36.50 / £24.50 discounts

A booking fee of £2.50 per ticket applies

Cast: Royal Ballet’s Kristen McNally and Jonathan Goddard.

PHAEDRA by Benjamin Britten
Sung by Christine Rice

MINOTAUR by Kim Brandstrup

Director (PHAEDRA) Deborah Warner
Choreographer (MINOTAUR) Kim Brandstrup
Lighting Designer Jean Kalman

The Ustinov foyer and bar are open from one hour prior to the performance.

Doors open approximately 15 minutes prior to the performance unless otherwise stated.

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets CAN  be shown on smartphones or tablets upon entry

The Box Office at the Ustinov Studio is open from approximately 30 minutes prior to each performance.

There is a lift from the Foyer to the Stalls level of the Ustinov Studio. Access to the Circle level is by stair access only.

Full terms and conditions for ticket bookings can be found here