The Siege of Calais

English Touring Opera, Hackney Empire London & UK Tour, March 2013
Composer, Donizetti  /  Conductor, Jeremy Silver  /  Director,  James Conway  /  Lighting, Ace McCarron

Photographs 2-9 © Richard Hubert Smith



★★★★“, ”…the set is excellent…The Siege of Calais is one to see if you enjoy compelling, well-realised operatic drama”
— bachtrack, Paul Kilbey

★★★★“, “The set, designed by Samal Blak according to director James Conway’s idea to make it reminiscent of the 20th century Siege of Leningrad rather than 14th century Paris, is simple but highly effective. To come up with a set design that can be moved around  the country, fitting onto a variety of stages, is quite a challenge, but this does the job perfectly.…this revival of Donizetti’s siege is a real success”
—, William Hartston

★★★★“, ”He and his designer Samal Blak also update the action from 1346, when Edward III’s year-long siege began, to the time of Stalingrad, hitting us with well-worked images of despair, degradation and distressed concrete.”
— The Telegraph, Peter Reed

★★★★“, ”resourcefully designed by Samal Blak…”
— The Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen

★★★★“, This production has a timeless setting (Samal Blak) with visual references to the 1940s Stalingrad siege.
—, Anne Morley-Priestman

“The staging inside and outside the city wall was ingenious…”
— Musical Pointers, Peter Grahame Woolf

Samal Blak’s economical set illustrates the detritus of war with a broken pipe that serves as encampment wall or shelter and there are torn bundles suspended on wires over the wreckage.
—, Clare Colvin