In November, Tony and Olivier Award-winning stage and film actor and musician Richard McCabe makes his operatic debut in the first English National Opera (ENO) production of The Yeomen of the Guard by Gilbert & Sullivan.
Described as “one of our finest actors” (the Guardian), Richard steps into the role of traveling jester Jack Point, the comic baritone of the opera.
Richard joins the cast of the highly anticipated production of this Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, presented at the London Coliseum from 3 November to 2 December. Tickets start from £10, under 21s can get free tickets to all performances and deep discounts are available for under 35s.
Richard is renowned for his theatrical work. As an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Richard has played many diverse roles including Iago, King John and Puck. He recently played Cicero at the Gielgud Theater in RSC’s epic six-hour adaptation of Robert Harris’ Imperium. Other West End credits include Jim Hacker in Yes, Prime Minister and Harold Wilson in The Audience, which won him both an Olivier Award and a Tony Award on Broadway.
Richard currently appears in Anatomy of a Scandal (Netflix), The Pentaverate (Netflix), and has previously appeared on television programs such as A Very British Scandal (BBC), Harlots (Hulu-BBC), Wallander (BBC) and Peaky Blinders (BBC). His film credits include Eye in the Sky, Mindhorn, The Constant Gardener, Master and Commander and Notting Hill.
Richard McCabe commented: “I am absolutely thrilled and terrified to take on this iconic G&S role! I first visited the Colosseum with my school in 1974 and that evening sparked a lifelong love for opera. It’s a dream come true to tread its sacred planks.
This is the first time that ENO has staged Gilbert & Sullivan’s masterful work – one of the last they created together – widely regarded as their finest musically.
Set in the Tower of London, the unjustly imprisoned Colonel Fairfax has a mutual attraction to Phoebe, the daughter of the virtuous Sergeant Meryll, one of the titular Beefeaters. Phoebe wants Fairfax freed so they can get married and enlists traveling entertainers Jack Point and Elsie Maynard. What follows is a complex adventure of forbidden romances, fantastical intrigues and unrequited love, but not with the usual happy ending one might expect, as the stakes in this tale are much higher…
Directed by Jo Davies, the creator of the “formidable” (the Guardian) Ruddigore (Opera North), the action is brought forward to the early 20th century with creations by Anthony Ward, lighting by Oliver Fenwick, video by Andrezj Goulding, sound design by Nick Lidster and choreography by Kay Shepherd. Chris Hopkins, an experienced Gilbert & Sullivan specialist, conducts the award-winning ENO Orchestra and Chorus.
Richard will be joined on stage by Anthony Gregory as Colonel Fairfax, Neal Davies as Sergeant Meryll of the Yeomen, Alexandra Oomens as Elsie Maynard, John Molloy as Wilfred Shadbolt, Heather Lowe as Phoebe Meryll, Steven Page as Sir Richard Cholmondeley, Susan Bickley as Dame Carruthers, Innocent Masuku as Leonard Meryll and Isabelle Peters as Kate.
The Yeomen of the Guard opens Thursday, November 3 for 14 performances: December 3, 5, 9, 10, 12, 17, 19, 26 and 1, 2 at 7:30 p.m. November 5, 19, 26 at 2:30 p.m.
A casual, fully staged performance will take place on November 12 at 2:30 p.m.