Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Fatal Passions in Leeds and beyond

Opera North - Fatal Passion
Opera North is presenting its first ever production of Verdi's Un ballo in maschera this Spring in a production directed by Tim Albery and conducted by Richard Farnes which opens at the Grand Theatre, Leeds on 3 February 2018. Hungarian soprano Adrienn Miksch, makes her UK debut as Amelia with Irish mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon as Madame Arvidson, Mexican tenor Rafael Rojas as Gustavus (following his performances with the company in the title role of Andrea Chénier (2015) and as Calaf in Turandot (2017)), and Armenian soprano Tereza Gevorgyan as Oscar. Gevorgyan was supported by Opera North throughout her studies with the National Opera Studio in 2014/15 and made her Opera North debut as Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi in 2015. As can be seen from the character names, the production uses Verdi's intended Swedish setting for the opera.

The season opens on 19 January with a revival of Tim Albery's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly conducted by Martin Pickard with Anne Sophie Duprels in the title role, and Lithuanian tenor Merūnas Vitulskis, making his UK as Pinkerton. Also in the season is a revival of Alessandro Talevi's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni conducted by Christopher Altstaedt with William Dazeley, Alistair Miles, Elizabeth Atherton, Jennifer Davies, Nicholas Watts and Kathryn Rudge.

The Spring tour starts in Leeds (19 January to 3 March) before moving to The Lowry, Salford, the Theatre Royal, Nottingham and the Theatre Royal, Newcastle.

The company's Whistle Stop Opera returns with a lively 30 minute introduction to Don Giovanni which will take place at various community venues across Leeds and in each of Opera North’s touring venues, with ‘pop-up’ performances in cafés and bars. And there are audio-described performances of Madama Butterfly are planned at all four venues to meet the needs of blind and visually impaired audience members, with discounted seats for essential companions and the opportunity to go on a touch tour to experience the set and costumes at first hand before the show.

The company's other venue in Leeds, the Howard Assembly Room, is presenting Italian Nights illustrating Italy’s rich musical heritage with a series of concerts from some of the world’s leading musicians including Louis Lortie, the Brodsky Quartet, James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook, and I Fagiolini. There are also film showings, Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander, Almodóvar’s All About my Mother and Kurosawa’s Ran, exploring the themes of desire, betrayal and revenge in a family setting, with a series of stories set in the same countries as the season’s operas.

Full details from the Opera North website.

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