A. Tchaikovsky: The Merchant of Venice

Opera in three acts and an epilogue after William Shakespeare



Shylock is a proud and defiant man. But when he demands a severe debt to be repaid he becomes a victim of his own intransigence and most seriously, the prejudice of others. André Tchaikowsky was best known as a concert pianist but being a composer meant more to him. The Merchant of Venice is a potent attack on prejudice and feels like a deeply personal response to his experiences as a child in the Warsaw Ghetto. It’s amazing that it has languished unperformed for over three decades. But finally, following the performances David Pountney commissioned at the Bregenz Festival in Austria, we get to see it in the UK. It goes without saying that this is a deeply serious opera but it is not without its moments of tender beauty. If you like opera to pack an emotional punch, we think this one’s for you.