The Knot Garden, with a libretto by the composer, has a typically enigmatic title. The elaborate Elizabethan Knot Garden often resembled a maze - and the reference to Shakespeare s time is underlined by numerous references to The Tempest. The enchantment and isolation, which are such powerful themes in Shakespeare s play, are put into a late twentieth-century context by Tippett. To this is added a web of psychological disturbance - where the maze of the garden becomes a metaphor for the labyrinth of human thoughts and relationships. The cast includes an analyst, Mangus, whose role as Master of Ceremonies in the final act is decisive. The Knot Garden was brave and controversial at the time of its first performance in 1970. Two of the main characters - the bisexual black writer Mel and his white friend Dov, a musician - are probably the first openly gay couple to appear in an opera. It is their relationship, grown fragile, around which much of the plot revolves. First performed in 1970, Tippett s third opera involves a psychological exploration of a group of contemporary characters, and frequently invokes parallels with The Tempest. One of Tippett s most eclectic scores, it shows the influence of jazz, and even of the pop music of the 1960s (an electric guitar is included in the orchestra) as well as one of Tippett s great loves, the songs of Franz Schubert. In celebration of the composer's centenary.


Helen Field, Jeremy Huw Williams, Gwion Thomas, Elizabeth Watts, Lucy Schaufer, Christopher Lemmings, Rodney Clarke


Music: Michael Tippett
Producer(s): Music Theatre Wales, Royal Opera House
Director: Michael McCarthy
Conductor: Michael Rafferty
Lighting: Ace McCarron
Design(s): Jane Wilson, Louise Wilson
CORONAVIRUS: All UK venues closed on 16th March 2020, restrictions were lifted on 19th July 2021. Please note that iUKTDb archive listings between March 2020 and July 2021 may not be accurate as we did not receive details of all rescheduled and cancelled shows.

The Knot Garden

The Knot Garden (Opera or Operetta) production archive for QTIX code T325329689. Details of all The Knot Garden archived productions can be found under the QTIX code: S02005030745

Archive Listings

8 Jul 05
9 Jul 05
New Theatre
5 Jul 05Theatr Clwyd
3 Jun 05Theatre Royal
Bath & North East Somerset
10 May 05Anvil Arts
30 Apr 05
4 May 05
Royal Opera House
West End
Greater London

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