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“Leonardo" is the much-anticipated second opera from acclaimed composer Alex Mills, exploring the inner world and emotional life of the world’s most celebrated polymath. Alex Mills’s new opera “Leonardo” marks the 500th anniversary year of Leonardo da Vinci's death and is inspired by the polymath’s fascinating notebooks and journals, five of which are in the V&A’s permanent collection. The 50-minute work focuses on Leonardo’s private life and inner world, a much less explored area of his life and perfect for the creative and expressive medium of opera.
The piece explores Leonardo’s relationships with two pivotal men in his life, his assistants Salai and Francesco Melzi, providing glimpses into Leonardo's emotional life and sexuality, aiming to bring us closer to the mind and man behind some of the world’s most famous works of art.
The piece has been created in consultation with two leading Leonardo experts: Martin Kemp (Emeritus Research Professor in the History of Art at Oxford University) and Martin Clayton (Head of Prints and Drawings for Royal Collection Trust at Windsor Castle and the curator of the current Leonardo exhibition at Buckingham Palace).
The text has been sensitively crafted by playwright Brian Mullin using extracts from Leonardo’s notebooks and other sources from his lifetime and brought to life in an imaginative production by renowned director Patrick Eakin Young.
A stellar cast of singers - Tom Randle, Feargal Mostyn-Williams and Richard Immerglück - are joined by the celebrated viol consort Fretwork (“the finest viol consort on the planet” – Evening Standard) and critically-acclaimed conductor Tim Anderson, in this exciting new addition to contemporary opera.
Composer: Alex Mills
Librettist: Brian Mullin
Director: Patrick Eakin Young
Producer: Kate Romano
Leonardo: Tom Randle
Salai: Feargal Mostyn-Williams
Francesco Melzi/The Executor: Richard Immerglück
Conductor: Tim Anderson