Tom Rakewell inherits a fortune, hires Nick Shadow as his assistant and goes off to enjoy life, forgetting all about Ann Trulove. But who is this mysterious Nick Shadow, and exactly what will he claim in return for his services?
The Rake’s Progress was originally a set of prints created by William Hogarth in the 18th century, a morality tale depicting a young man’s path from pleasure to ruin. Igor Stravinsky turned it into an opera that graciously pays homage to the conventions of the art form, with added elements from the tale of Faust. Stravinsky made his name with the primeval force of his ballets, but here he turned to a Neo-Classical style and crafted arias and ensemble scenes with the elegance of Mozart’s era.
The return of this classic to the FNO has been eagerly awaited, as the previous production was staged almost 60 years ago. With the multiple award-winning Dmitri Bertman as director, the production promises to be both surprising and effective.