Pagliacci and Puccini in ENO's Italian Seasoning; Revival: The Anthony Minghella Production of Madam Butterfly Will Feature in the New English National Opera Season in Tribute to the Director Who Died Last Month

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Byline: LOUISE JURY

ENGLISH National Opera has recruited new talent including the actressFiona Shaw and Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall for its new season, it announcedtoday.

Shaw makes her debut as an opera director with Riders To The Sea by VaughanWilliams on the 50th anniversary of the composer's death.

Hall, who has previously written for television, film and theatre, is writing anew translation of the low-life opera Pagliacci by Leoncavallo.

"The Italian is full of the salt of street life, low exclamations, filthycurses," he said.

But Edward Gardner, ENO's music director who will direct the performances, saidHall was already axing expletives from the rough drafts

because he did not want them shown on the surtitling screens.

"That's making him take a whole ream of them out straight away. [But] it'scertainly a fresh approach and very much a version rather than a translation."Pagliacci will be paired, as is traditional, with the Mascagni opera CavalleriaRusticana in a new translation by Sean O'Brien, the TS Eliot Prizewinning poet.

The 2008-09 season includes 10 new productions and five revivals. PennyWoolcock, the award-winning film director, will make her UK opera debut.

She will tackle the British premiere of

John Adams's Doctor Atomic about Robert Oppenheimer's development of the atombomb. …

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