From a playlet by tsarist Russia’s star poet Alexander Pushkin, the director David Pountney has fashioned a Goreyesque libretto, which he reads aloud with relish on a video posted to the Grange Park Opera website. Alex Woolf’s score is still under wraps, but word on the street is that the 25-year-old composer a) is brilliant and b) works really fast. As befits what is being advertised as Britain’s first new opera commission since the pandemic lockdown, the 12-person cast (shades of the Last Supper) is studded with the sceptred isle’s best-loved talents. Simon Keenlyside, a keen roadie in real life, roars in on a motorbike as the Grim Reaper. —M.G.