Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Instagram Rss YouTube
Get news and offers Search...

Tue 4 Nov 2014

Royal Festival Hall, London

Donizetti’s Les Martyrs

Time: 7:00pm

Admission: £9-£70

Info: Booking Fee Applies

Venue website: view

Venue telephone: 020 7960 4200

Book now Close
opera rara

Experience the power of Donizetti’s rarely performed grand opera Les Martyrs, in what promises to be one of the highlights of London’s operatic year.

A fascinating mix of Italian and French operatic styles, and a work of high drama, Les Martyrs started life as a very different opera – Poliuto, composed for Naples where it fell foul of the censors on account of its religious content.   In response, Donizetti refashioned the work for Paris – adding ballet music, an elaborate and startling overture, new arias and innovative ensemble pieces.

Conducted by Sir Mark Elder, Opera Rara’s Artistic Director and OAE Principal Artist, this performance will be realised by a superb cast featuring Michael Spyres , Joyce El-Khoury and David Kempster.

Les Martyrs continues the highly successful partnership between Opera Rara, the foremost restorers of neglected operatic masterpieces, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and follows last December’s critically acclaimed performance of Offenbach’s Fantasio

Donizetti Les Martyrs

Sir Mark Elder conductor

Michael Spyres Polyeucte
Joyce El-Khoury Pauline
David Kempster Sévère
Brindley Sherratt Félix
Clive Bayley Callisthènes
Wynne Evans Néarque

Opera Rara Chorus

OAE Extras at 5.45pm.  Royal Festival Hall auditorium.
Free Admission.
Professor Roger Parker, Dr Flora Wilson and Jonathan Keates introduce Donizetti’s Les Martyrs.



Venue details

This venue has disabled access. Nearest National Rail: Waterloo, Waterloo East and Charing Cross Nearest Underground: Waterloo and Embankment
Book now


  • Via Opera Rara’s website, I found a link to Colin Lee which seems to indicate that is planning to sing Polyeucte in November. Or is it to be Brian Hymel?

    John in Santa Fe Mon Apr 21 2014
  • It’s Brian Hymel. Would you be able to let us know the link in question so that it can be corrected? Many thanks.

    oae Mon Apr 21 2014
  • This is odd. I’ve seen so many refs. to Brian Hymel as the Polyeucte for this Opera Rara occasion. Yet here the Polyeucte listed is Michael Spyres. Please, can anyone resolve this odd discrepancy?

    Thanks very much,

    Geoffrey Riggs

    Geoffrey Riggs Sun Oct 26 2014
  • Hi Geoffrey,

    There was a cast change earlier in the year and Michael Spyres will now be singing the role of Polyeucte. Apologies for any confusion.

    oae Mon Oct 27 2014
  • Thanks for the clarification on the upcoming performance. I’m wondering if the recording in October did feature Hymel, or was the recording also made with Spyres as well?



    Geoffrey Riggs Sun Nov 2 2014
  • Hi Geoffrey,

    It will also be Spyres who features on the recording.

    oae Mon Nov 3 2014