Home » Opera and Ballet » The Importance of Being Earnest at the Barbican – 29th March to 3rd April 2016

The Importance of Being Earnest at the Barbican – 29th March to 3rd April 2016



Irish composer Gerald Barry’s acclaimed and inventive setting of Wilde’s classic play The Importance of Being Earnest had its concert premiere in Los Angeles in 2011 and its 2013 stage premiere in Nancy. Its energetic and madcap humour made a hit with audiences and in 2013 it won the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for best large-scale composition. Ramin Gray’s production for the Royal Opera House marked the work’s UK stage premiere.

The Importance of being Earnest is a about a young man Ernest who loves Gwendolen, but hasn’t told her that his name is really Jack and he has a ward named Cecily who lives in the country. His friend Algernon presents himself to Cecily as Jack’s brother Ernest and they fall in love. Both Cecily and Gwendolen state that they particularly admire the name Ernest, to the anguish of Jack and Algernon. Gwendolen’s mother and Algernon’s aunt Lady Bracknell strongly disapproves.

Through a revelation provided by Cecily’s schoolmistress Miss Prism it is discovered that Jack is the long-lost brother of Algernon and that his name is in fact Ernest. There follows much rejoicing.


Sung in English.

If you would like further information, visit the Royal Opera House website here

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