Joana Carneiro and James Creswell Earn Acclaim for The Handmaid’s Tale at ENO

5 Feb 2024

Joana Carneiro returns to English National Opera to conduct the revival of Poul Ruder’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Based on Margaret Atwood’s iconic novel, Annilese Miskimmon’s production, revived by James Hurley, runs at the London Coliseum through 15 February. She is joined by bass James Creswell, who plays The Commander in the 2024 production.

Carneiro and Creswell have both earned praise for the production.

Clive Paget in The Guardian writes that “Joana Carneiro guides the ENO Orchestra carefully through its multifaceted complexities;” and notes the “strong support from James Creswell as the inscrutable Commander.”

Bachtrack’s David Karlin writes, “Joana Carneiro had the ENO Orchestra on top form, nicely balanced and exploring all the edges of what the different instrument combinations can do;” and hails Creswell as “a standout.”

Joana Carneiro is in high demand across the globe, particularly for her focus on contemporary music both in the concert hall and on the opera stage. In the recent years Joana has conducted the world stage premiere of John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, directed by Peter Sellars.  With Scottish Opera she conducted Nixon in China and in Lisbon, Rake´s Progress.  Other recent opera performances include A Wonderful Town (Royal Danish Opera), Simone’s La Passion (Ojai Festival), Oedipus Rex (Sydney, Helpmann Award for Best Concert by the Symphony Orchestra) and A Flowering Tree (Vienna, Paris, Chicago, Cincinnati, Gothenburg, Lisbon). In 2023 Joana conducted the premiere of the ballet production Pit by Bobbi Jene Smith at the Opera Garnier.

Among the 23/24 symphonic season highlights are debuts with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Royal Scottish National Symphony, Bremen Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine, Musikkollegium Winterthur and return collaborations with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, NAC Orchestra in Ottawa and Detroit Symphony.

Joana is currently Principal Guest Conductor of the Real Filharmonia de Galicia and Artistic Director of the Gulbenkian Youth Orchestra, a post she has held since 2013.

Previously Joana was the Principal Conductor of the Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesa at Teatro Sao Carlos in Lisbon from 2014 until January 2022.  From 2009 to 2018 she was Music Director of Berkeley Symphony, succeeding Kent Nagano as only the third music director in the 40-year history of the orchestra.  She was also official guest conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra from 2006 to 2018.

American bass James Creswell has established himself as one of the leading basses of his generation. Born in Seattle Washington, Mr. Creswell graduated from Yale University and his early career included apprenticeships with Los Angeles Opera and San Francisco Opera until moving to Germany as a soloist with the Komische Oper Berlin.

Mr. Creswell has appeared at the major opera houses, concert stages ,recital halls and festivals around the world including Metropolitan Opera, Dutch National Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Bilbao Opera, Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Staatsoper Berlin, Oper Frankfurt, Theater an der Wien, Opéra de Bordeaux, Angers-Nantes Opéra, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Edinburgh International Festival, Nederlandse Reisopera, Tallinn Festival, Ravinia Festival and Bergen International Festival.

For more information and tickets, please visit The Handmaid’s Tale Opera Tickets 23/24 | Book Online | ENO