Performance dates: 13, 15, 16 & 18 March 2019
The Royal College of Music Opera Studio presents Jacques Offenbach’s lively operetta Robinson Crusoe in the composer’s 200th birthday year. Acclaimed director Bill Bankes-Jones returns to the Royal College of Music (RCM) following the successful Frankenstein – The Modern Prometheus, a 2018 collaborative project between the RCM and Tête à Tête, of which Bankes-Jones is founder and Artistic Director.
Robinson Crusoe is a light-hearted love story loosely based on Daniel Defoe’s classic novel, which celebrates its 300th anniversary this year. Offenbach’s opera is a seafaring musical adventure set against a backdrop of Victoriana, colonialism and cannibalism. The story follows hopeless romantic Robinson as he sets sail for South America with dreams of finding a fortune for his fiancée Edwige. It’s anything but plain sailing though, as he ends up shipwrecked on a desert island. When Edwige launches a rescue mission, she too finds herself at the mercy of pantomime pirates and waltzing cannibals. Will the lovers ever find each other, the treasure, or their way back home?
Bill Bankes-Jones has directed more than 40 world premieres of operas, as well as many revivals, plays and other events. He has been staff or associate director with English National Opera, the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera. As well as Frankenstein – The Modern Prometheus and Crime and Punishment at the RCM, Bankes-Jones has directed all of Tête à Tête’s productions to date and several acclaimed productions for the ENO. Sarah Booth is an experienced theatre designer who has collaborated with many top directors, including Bankes-Jones on numerous Tête à Tête projects.
The RCM’s production of Robinson Crusoe is sung in English. As is traditional for RCM opera productions, two casts will alternate performances, giving as many accomplished young singers as possible the chance to take to the RCM’s Britten Theatre stage.