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Monty Python member Terry Gilliam to direct Berlioz for English National Opera

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LONDON - The English National Opera's 2013-14 season will include a world premiere of Oedipus-inspired opera "Thebans" and the return of Monty Python's Terry Gilliam to direct a new production, the company announced Wednesday.

"Thebans," based on the tragedies of Sophocles, is a first opera from composer Julian Anderson, with libretto by Irish playwright Frank McGuinness. It opens in May 2014.

Gilliam, who directed "The Damnation of Faust" at the ENO in 2011, will lead a production of Hector Berlioz's "Benvenuto Cellini" in June 2014.

Both will be conducted by ENO Musical Director Edward Garner.

The season includes 10 new productions, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte," directed by Katie Mitchell, a Calixto Bieito-directed production of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Fidelio" and Mozart's "The Magic Flute" directed by Simon McBurney — a co-production with the Netherlands Opera.

The company also plans revivals of recent successes including David Alden's production of Benjamin Britten's "Peter Grimes" and Phelim McDermott's staging of Philip Glass's Gandhi opera "Satyagraha."

Unlike its London neighbour the Royal Opera, the ENO performs all its works in English. It also has tried to overcome opera's often stuffy image, offering audiences 3-D cinema broadcasts, casual performances aimed at younger music-lovers and an opera about the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

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Online: www.eno.org

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