Thomas Adès took the music world by storm with The Tempest, winner of the 2004 Olivier Award for "Outstanding acheivement in Opera."
Prospero, a powerful magician and rightful Duke of Milan
Miranda, his daughter
Antonio, his younger brother and usurper of his throne
Ariel, a sprite and Prospero's servant
Caliban, a monster and Prospero's servant
Alonso, King of Naples
Ferdinand, Alonso's son
Twelve years before the opera begins, Antonio, aided by the King of Naples, overthrew his brother Prospero, setting him and Miranda were set adrift in a small boat. They landed on a remote island, inhabited only by the sprite Ariel and by the monstrous Caliban, who was enslaved by Prospero after trying to seduce Miranda.
Act One: Seeking revenge for his banishment, Prospero has caused a great tempest, which has wrecked a ship carrying King Alonso of Naples and Antonio, Duke of Milan, as well as their courts. Alonso's son Ferdinand was separated from the others, who were safely brought ashore by Ariel at Prospero's orders, and who now sleep on the shore. Ferdinand mourns, believing his father and the rest of his party to have drowned, until he sees Miranda, and the young couple falls immediately in love. Angered by Miranda's infatuation with the heir of Naples' king, Prospero paralyzes Ferdinand.
Act Two: The shipwrecked courtiers awaken and discuss their miraculous salvation. Prospero orders Ariel to sow discord between them, and they begin to quarrel with each other, while Alonso, assuming Ferdinand to have drowned, mourns his son's loss. Caliban appears and tells them about the island. He is about to divulge Prospero's name when he is silenced by the powerful magician. The courtiers search the island in vain for Ferdinand, while the unseen Prospero observes the love growing between Ferdinand and Miranda.
Act Three: Caliban and two of the courtiers plot to murder Prospero, while Ariel leads everyone else on a grueling trek through the island's forests and swamps. Antonio encourages Sebastian, who is Alonso's younger brother, to murder the King. Their plot is revealed by Ariel, who then appears in the guise of a harpy and explains that their travails are the result of their having banished Prospero to the same island twelve years earlier. Miranda and Ferdinand announce their love to Prospero, who reluctantly blesses them. Ariel tells Ferdinand that he will soon be reunited with his father. Prospero, satisfied that the courtiers have been sufficiently punished for their misdeeds, appears to them. They ask his forgiveness, which he grants. Prospero then conjures up a ship in which they can sail back to Europe, announcing that he will return to Milan to rule, with a stop in Naples for the wedding of Miranda and Ferdinand. Ariel and Caliban remain on the island.
- Miranda - Patricia Risley
- Prospero - Rod Gilfry
- Ariel - Cyndia Sieden
- Caliban - Will Ferguson
- Ferdinand - Toby Spence
- Stefano - Wilbur Pauley
- Trinculo - David Hansen
- Antonio - Derek Taylor
- Sebastian - Keith Phares
- Gonzalo - Gwynne Howell
- Alonso - Chris Merritt
- Conductor - Alan Gilbert
- Director - Jonathan Kent
- Scenic Designer - Paul Brown
- Costume Designer - Paul Brown
- Lighting Designer - Duane Schuler
- Chorus Master - Gregory Buchalter