Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Left Bank Opera Festival

Left Bank Opera Festival 2018
This year the Northern Opera Group's Left Bank Opera Festival in Leeds (22-26 August 2018) takes as its theme opera’s longstanding (and rather contentious) relationship with stories, characters and music from Asia. Northern Opera Group is performing Raymond Yiu's The Original Chinese Conjuror in a double bill with Saint-Saens La Princesse Jaune, whilst Ensemble Tempus Fugit is bringing their show Calcutta.

Raymond Yiu's The Original Chinese Conjuror, 'A Musical Diversion Suggested by the Lives of Chung Ling Soo', tells the true story of magician William Robinson who, in his efforts to enliven his act, adopts the persona of a mystical conjuror from China - and keeps his real identity hidden to all but those closest to him. The opera was premiered in 2006 as part of the Aldeburgh Festival, and was also performed at the Almeida Theatre that year.

Saint-Saens' La princesse jaune (which Northern Opera Group are playing as The Yellow Princess) is a delicate two-hander which satirises the 19th century fashion for Japonaiserie; it was performed at the Buxton Festival in 2013 [see my review].

Ensemble Tempus Fugit's Calcutta by contrast evokes the real melting pot of 18th century Calcutta where Western and Indian musics and cultures mixed.

Full details from the Northern Opera Group website.

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