Focusing on the women of the East End at the time these crimes are taking place, the story is pulled away from the murderer, giving voice to his victims. Bell’s new opera begins in 1888, at the time of the first murders. A group of East End women fear for their lives, but as there is power in numbers, they work together to ensure survival. Examining the poverty and hardship of the women’s lives, Bell hands these historical figures a platform rather than merely being defined by their horrible deaths.
Casting for the production includes Claudia Boyle, Josephine Barstow, Janis Kelly, Marie McLaughlin, Susan Bullock, Lesley Garrett, William Mofrgan, Alex Otterburn, Alan Opie, Robert Hayward, Nicky Spence and James Cleverton.
Iain Bell is best-known for composing operas, with previous works including In Parenthesis, A Christmas Carol and A Harlot’s Progress. Martyn Brabbins conducts, with direction by Daniel Kramer, Artistic Director of the English National Opera. The American theatre-trained director’s recent credits include Bluebeard’s Castle, an opera version of Punch & Judy, and Bent starring Alan Cumming.
Opera is a traditionally male-dominated form, so this is a welcome change to see women’s stories centre stage. Playing a strictly limited season as part of the London Coliseum’s 2018-2019 season, Jack Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel runs from 30 March to 12 April 2019.
Recommended forNew opera audiences, people interested in stories about women, and those keen on new works for large-scale stages won’t want to pass over what should be a ground-breaking work.
Age Recommendations: No under 5's