Opera singers to appear at the Grange Festival in a play – with no singing

A production of Shakespeare's King Lear at this year's Grange Festival will feature a starry cast of opera singers from John Tomlinson to Thomas Allen, who will perform without singing a single note

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: John Tomlinson as The Mikado of Japan and Yvonne Howard as Katisha with artists of the company in  English National Opera's production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado directed by Jonathan Miller and conducted by Chris Hopkins at The London Coliseum on October 25, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Robbie Jack/Corbis via Getty Images)

A cast of acclaimed opera singers has been assembled for a production of King Lear in this year’s Grange Festival line-up. But, unlike other performances in this year’s festival, there’ll be a slight twist. Shakespeare’s King Lear will be enacted as written, as a straight play. These artists will perform as actors, with no singing.

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John Tomlinson leads the cast as Lear in this production by director Keith Warner. Both Tomlinson and Warner are particularly known for their interpretations of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, with Tomlinson having performed the role of Wotan in Die Walküre numerous times and Warner’s full Ring Cycle was staged at the Royal Opera House in the 2018/19 season.

Tomlinson will perform alongside Thomas Allen, Susan Bullock, Louise Alder, Donnie Ray Albert, Kim Begley and Emma Bell.

This production of King Lear will be staged at the Grange Festival on 14, 15 and 17 July. Tickets available here.

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We recently included the Grange Festival in our list of the best classical music festivals taking place this year.