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The Royal Opera House broadcasts series of ballet and opera live performances over the November lockdown

The Royal Opera House will present a series of live performance broadcasts, with some much-loved repertory favourites from both The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera, throughout the November lockdown period.

The Royal Opera will present a livestreamed concert performance of Ariodante on Friday 20 November. This rarely performed work, which will be available via the Royal Opera House streaming platform, opened Handel’s first season at Covent Garden in 1735 and has not been performed at the Royal Opera House since. This new, live staging offers audiences an opportunity to enjoy a performance that celebrates the full span of the ROH history.

Mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy will perform in the title role with soprano Chen Reiss as Ginevra, bass-baritone Gerald Finley as the King of Scotland, soprano Sophie Bevan as Dalinda, tenor Ed Lyon as Lurcanio, countertenor Iestyn Davies as Polinesso, and South African tenor and former Jette Parker Young Artist Thando Mjandana as Odoardo. They will be joined by Baroque music specialist Christian Curnyn, who conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

Following the success of The Royal Ballet: Back on Stage and welcoming an audience back into the building with The Royal Ballet: Live, the ROH presents a special live-streamed performance on 13 November. The programme completes the celebration of the Company’s return to the stage following its long absence during the pandemic. Jonathan Lo conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in cherished works and modern classics from the Company’s repertory.

The programme includes the world premiere of Scherzo, a new work featuring the young members of the Company choreographed by First Soloist Valentino Zucchetti, his first work for the main stage and seen in rehearsal during World Ballet Day. Celebrated pas de deux from the repertory from the serene to the electric will also feature, including Swan Lake with Francesca Hayward and Cesar Corrales, Frederick Ashton’s Rhapsody with Akane Takada and Alexander Campbell, Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon with Laura Morera and Federico Bonelli and Concerto with Yasmine Naghdi and Nicol Edmonds, Cathy Marston’s In Our Wishes with Romany Pajdak and Calvin Richardson plus George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, with Royal Opera House debuts by Marcelino Sambé and Anna Rose O’Sullivan, and Le Corsaire with Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov. The programme also includes Natalia Osipova in the haunting Dying Swan solo by Mikhail Fokine plus the serenity of Ashton’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits with William Bracewell and Monotones II with Melissa Hamilton, Reece Clarke and Nicol Edmonds. The evening closes with a full performance of Christopher Wheeldon’s ballet of shimmering beauty Within the Golden Hour featuring Sarah Lamb, Ryoichi Hirano, Fumi Kaneko, Reece Clarke, Anna Rose O’Sullivan and James Hay with artists of The Royal Ballet.

ROH Friday Premieres continue throughout the month. Priced at £3.00, each will be available for 30 days streaming via stream.roh.org.uk. The next ROH Friday premiere will be Frederick Ashton’s Enigma Variations, to be streamed on Friday 4 December . Ashton’s quintessentially British ballet was created in 1968 and last performed at Covent Garden in 2019. With period designs by Julia Trevelyan Oman and Edward Elgar’s eponymous score, it stands as an enduring and evocative portrait of the composer and his companions. This streaming from the 2019 revival features performances from Royal Ballet Principals Laura Morera, Francesca Hayward and Matthew Ball alongside Principal Character Artist Christopher Saunders as Edward Elgar.

On 27 November, the Royal Opera’s 2019 production of Mozart’s dazzling tragicomedy Don Giovanni will be shown. Conducted by Hartmut Haenchen, the magnificent cast includes Erwin Schrott, Roberto Tagliavini, Malin Byström, Daniel Behle, Myrtò Papatanasiu, Louise Alder and Leon Košavić.

For more information, visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
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The Royal Opera House Cinema Festival – 3 December 2018 to 6 January 2019

The Royal Opera House will launch its first ever Cinema Festival on Monday 3 December in the newly refurbished Linbury Theatre. Children can go free to all Saturday and Sunday cinema matinée performances and to The Nutcracker on 3 December. The Cinema Festival will feature 21 titles that celebrate the breadth of ballet and opera repertory shown in cinemas since the Royal Opera House’s first broadcast ten years ago.

Specially curated, free-for-children screenings include The Nutcracker live (3 December, 7.15pm), La Fille mal gardée (8 December, 2pm), The Magic Flute (9 December, 4pm), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (15 December, 2pm), Cendrillon (16 December, 4pm), both Anthony Dowell’s and Liam Scarlett’s versions of Swan Lake (22 December, 2pm, and 5 January, 2pm, respectively), The Winter’s Tale (23 December, 4pm) and Romeo and Juliet (29 December, 2pm). Richard Jones’s staging of La bohème (30 December, 4pm) and Giselle which brings the cinema festival to an end on 6 January at 4pm.

Further highlights include The Royal Ballet’s Sylvia (7 December, 7pm, featuring former Royal Ballet Principal Darcey Bussell and Guest Artist Roberto Bolle), John Copley’s acclaimed Royal Opera production of La bohème (8 December, 7pm, featuring Hibla Gerzmava and Teodor Ilincai), La traviata featuring soprano Renée Fleming and tenor Joseph Calleja (15 December, 7pm), Otello (21 December, 7pm, featuring German tenor Jonas Kaufmann) and Manon, featuring current Royal Ballet Principals Sarah Lamb and Vadim Muntagirov (28 December, 7pm).

Cinema festival audiences will be the first visitors to enjoy the brand new, state-of-the-art Linbury Theatre, which opens in January 2019.

Tickets cost £10-£17 for adults and are free for children aged 5 to 15 years old for The Nutcracker on 3 December and all Saturday and Sunday matinee performances. There is a maximum of two children with any one adult.

For more information and tickets , visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
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The Royal Opera House announce Linbury Theatre Season for 2018/2019

The Royal Opera House has announced the first Season’s programme for the Linbury Theatre, the West End’s newest and most intimate theatre, opening in December 2018 after an extensive re-development as part of the Royal Opera House’s Open Up project. The Linbury Theatre incorporates up to 406 seats and is designed as a fully realized new stage for the Royal Opera House to present an exciting array of innovative and engaging new work.

Dance

Olivier Award-winning international ballerina Alessandra Ferri returns to the Linbury Theatre in January 2019, presenting TRIOConcertDance alongside renowned American Ballet Theatre Principal dancer Herman Cornejo and acclaimed concert pianist Bruce Levingston. The show features work by choreographers including Demis Volpi, Russell Maliphant, Wayne McGregor, Herman Cornejo, Fang-Yi Sheu and Angelin Preljocaj, and offers audiences an opportunity to experience the work of these internationally renowned artists in a beautiful and intimate new space.

In February 2019, The Royal Ballet presents New Work New Music, a programme which includes Blue Moon, a new work by acclaimed director and choreographer Aletta Collins, set to a David Sawer score co-commissioned by The Royal Philharmonic Society Drummond Fund and BBC Radio 3 and performed by an ensemble of female dancers from The Royal Ballet. A collaboration with the London Sinfonietta, New Work New Music will offer audiences an opportunity to hear a variety of contrasting music set to dance for the first time, across work by choreographers including Goyo Montero, Royal Ballet Principal Character Artist Kristen McNally, Royal Ballet Soloist Calvin Richardson and Alexander Whitley, who returns to the Royal Opera House after the premiere of his work Noumena in the Clore Studio in November 2017.

In March 2019, National Dance Company Wales present AWAKENING, a programme featuring contemporary works by Fernando Melo, Caroline Finn and Marcos Morau. Afterimage (Melo) is a unique theatrical experience, using a mixture of mirrors and creative choreography; Revellers’ Mass (Finn) depicts an unlikely dinner party and is inspired by old paintings while Tundra (Morau) is an ultra-modern, robotically mesmerizing exploration of Russian folk dance and revolution. In addition, National Dance Company Wales present Discover Dance – a fun and relaxed interactive performance suitable for children and families, offering audience members the chance to dance on stage with NDC Wales dancers and learn excerpts from the Company’s show, followed by a performance of Revellers’ Mass. Also in March, Introdans presents the programme Dutch Masters, containing important items from their signature neoclassical repertory. Returning to the UK for the first time in more than a decade, the company perform a mixed bill, which includes Polish Pieces and Andante by Hans van Manen, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen by Jiří Kylián and CANTUS by Nils Christe.

The Royal Ballet’s signature International Draft Works programme is presented in the Linbury Theatre in April 2019, and is a forum for choreographers and dancers to explore ideas and present developing work. Submissions will be invited from the UK, Europe and North America’s foremost dance companies and beyond. Each piece will be fully realized, with costumes, set and lighting. The programme offers audiences an opportunity to see choreographic voices of the future develop new and innovative work.

Also in the Linbury Theatre, Ben Duke’s company Lost Dog presents Juliet & Romeo, which runs alongside The Royal Ballet’s revival of Romeo and Juliet. A witty reassessment of Shakespeare’s star-crossed couple as they survive, marry and move into their 40s, Juliet &  Romeo combines dance, theatre and comedy to present a memorable duet mirroring our modern obsessions.

In the Clore Studio, Yorke Dance Project presents Playground by Kenneth MacMillan, 40 years after the work had its premiere at the Edinburgh Festival. Alongside this, Yorke Dance Project will also present a new work by Robert Cohan, Communion, created as the company celebrates its 20th anniversary. Wayne McGregor, a mentee of Cohan, will also join him for a Q&A after the performance. The company will also perform their full anniversary programme including Playground, Communion, a new commission by Los Angeles based choreographer Sophia Stoller and a work by Yolande Yorke-Edgell.

Receiving its UK premiere in May 2019, Canadian company Cas Public’s 9 is produced in collaboration with Belgian company Kopergietery. Choreographed by Hélène Blackburn and set to Martin Tétreault’s overlayed score (based on Beethoven’s Symphony no.9) the piece is inspired by Cas Public performer Cai Glover, who overcame a hearing impairment to become a professional dancer. Suitable for audiences of all ages, 9 utilizes a unique sensory approach to performance, exploring notions of listening to a musical masterpiece without hearing, and transcending boundaries to transform bodies into visual language. Following this, award-winning ballet company Ballet Black returns to the Linbury Theatre with a mixed programme of work, including Cathy Marston’s The Suit.

In June 2019 the Linbury Theatre will host the inaugural Young Talent Festival, presenting performances from some of the world’s leading junior companies and schools. Running from Monday 16 June to Saturday 6 July 2019, the festival includes mixed programmes presented by the Ballett Zürich Junior Company, The Norwegian National Ballet 2, Dutch National Ballet Juniors, Rambert School and The Royal Ballet School. Rambert 2 will also participate with a staging of Kamuyot by Ohad Naharin in the Paul Hamlyn Hall. Completing the festival line-up, participants of the Royal Opera House’s Chance to Dance programme perform their own creative interpretation of Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird, performing alongside dancers from The Royal Ballet. Running alongside this is the culmination of the annual Young Creatives programme, which cements The Royal Ballet’s commitment to nurturing future generations of dancing talent from across the UK and beyond.

Looking ahead to the 2019/20 Season, The Royal Ballet and Rambert will present Aisha and Abhaya, a co-production in association with BBC Films, directed by ground-breaking London-based filmmaker Kibwe Tavares and choreographed by Sharon Eyal.

Aisha and Abhaya (meaning ‘Hope and Fearlessness’) is a contemporary fairytale about two sisters seeking refuge from their homeland in a fantastical world, which proves to be riven with familiar troubles and dangers. Set to a commissioned score by GAIKA and Ori Lichtik, with costumes by visionary artist Uldus Bakhtiozina, this incredible new dance work combines film, animation and live performance by Rambert’s extraordinary dancers to tell a compelling parable for our times. Originally programmed to open the Linbury Theatre in December 2018, the premiere of Aisha and Abhaya has had to be postponed due to Kibwe Tavares suffering a sudden, unexpected illness.

Opera

The first work presented by The Royal Opera in the Linbury Theatre is Gavin Higgins’s new opera The Monstrous Child, which receives its world premiere in February 2019. Based on Francesca Simon’s darkly humorous novel for teens, The Monstrous Child explores ordinary teenage angst in the extraordinary world of Norse gods, giants and the Underworld. The opera is the latest work commissioned by The Royal Opera for a younger audience.

The Monstrous Child is directed by Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Artistic Director Timothy Sheader, making his Royal Opera debut, and sees Jessica Cottis return to the Company (following her debut with Mamzer Bastard at Hackney Empire in 2018) to conduct a cast featuring Marta Fontanals-Simmons, Tom Randle, Dan Shelvey, Lucy Schaufer, Elizabeth Karani and Graeme Broadbent.

In March 2019, The Royal Opera and London Handel Festival present a new staging of Handel’s Berenice, which returns for the first time to the site of its premiere at the Covent Garden Theatre in 1737. Sung in a new English translation by Selma Dimitrijevic, the opera’s story pits two strong women against princes and each other in a battle of love and politics. Adele Thomas directs the new production, with London Handel Festival Musical Director Laurence Cummings conducting the musicians of the London Handel Orchestra and a cast featuring Rachael Lloyd, James Laing, William Berger and Jette Parker Young Artists Jacquelyn Stucker and Patrick Terry.

The Royal Opera House welcomes award-winning South African lyric theatre company Isango Ensemble to the Linbury Theatre to present the first revival of A Man of Good Hope alongside a staging of SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill in April 2019. Based on Jonny Steinberg’s book, A Man of Good Hope tells the true story of one refugee’s epic quest across Africa through music and dance.

SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill is a powerful and moving requiem inspired by Fred Khumalo’s book on the real-life maritime disaster of 1917, when the SS Mendi sank off the Isle of Wight, killing more than 600 South Africans en route to the Western Front to support British troops.

For their annual chamber opera in May 2019, The Royal Opera and the Jette Parker Young Artists present Henze’s Phaedra, in a new production by Jette Parker Young Artist director Noa Naamat. The late German composer’s final opera had its premiere at Berlin State Opera in 2007 and is a re-working of Greek myth. The story explores the death of Hippolytus, destroyed by his stepmother Phaedra’s obsessive love for him. Phaedra reunites the Jette Parker Young Artists with the musicians of Southbank Sinfonia, who are conducted by Edmund Whitehead.

Belgian director Ivo van Hove makes his Royal Opera debut in June 2019, bringing Muziektheater Transparant’s production of The Diary of One Who Disappeared to the Royal Opera House for its UK premiere. This unique staging of Leoš Janáček’s song cycle features singers Ed Lyon and Marie Hamard and actors Hugo Koolschijn and Gijs Scholten van Aschat, and includes new music by Annelies Van Parys composed for the production.

In July 2019 The Royal Opera presents Engender, a new weekend festival that puts women working in opera at the front and centre of the action. Engender highlights a wealth of female talent both onstage and behind the scenes and provides a platform for conversations exploring gender in opera today. Events across the weekend offer insights into the creative process, first glimpses of work in progress, performances from emerging artists and the opportunity to examine and debate the future of opera with practitioners from across the art form.

For more information and tickets , visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Review : La traviata at the Royal Opera House – 16th January 2016

La Traviata-522 VENERA GIMADIEVA AS VIOLETTA VALÉRY © ROH. PHOTOGRAPH BY TRISTRAM KENTON

La Traviata- Venera Gimadieva as Violetta Valery© ROH. Photograph by Tristram Kenton

La traviata returns to the Royal Opera with a revival of the 1994 Richard Eyre’s production, with three world-class casts led by Venera Gimadieva, Maria Agresta and Nicole Cabell.

La traviata is one of Giuseppe Verdi’s most popular operas, based on La dame aux Camélias , a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas. The opera was first premiered in 1853 at the La Fenice opera house in Venice and opened to mixed reviews mainly due the discontent with certain members of the cast. When the opera opened in other major European cities in the 1850s, there were some controversy over the story of a Parisian courtesan.

Tonight’s performance had its own drama when acclaimed Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu had to withdraw from singing the role of Alfredo Germont in the opening night’s performance of La traviata due to illness. The role was taken by Samuel Sakker, the Australian tenor  is part of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme which he joined at  start of the 2014/15 Season and has untaken a number of roles including  one of the leading roles in The Lighthouse at the Royal Opera House.

La Traviata-290 VENERA GIMADIEVA AS VIOLETTA VALÉRY © ROH. PHOTOGRAPH BY TRISTRAM KENTON

La Traviata- Venera Gimadieva as Violetta Valery© ROH. Photograph by Tristram Kenton

The story takes place in 19th century Paris and centred around the character of Violetta Valéry (Venera Gimadieva), a courtesan who in the first act throws a lavish party to celebrate her recovery from an illness. At the party is the young Alfredo Germont (Samuel Sakker)who has long admired Violetta and after she suffers a relapse of her illness, he professes his love and concern about her health.

Eventually Violetta  gives up her extravagant lifestyle to live with Alfredo Germont  at her country house, but the path of true love seldom  runs true and the couple’s living arrangements causes a scandal amongst their ‘society’ friends which then leads to the arrival  of Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont ( Luca Salsi ).

In common with Tosca, La traviata places a great responsibility on the leading character, in this production, the  impressive Venera Gimadieva manages to convey the many complexities of Violetta’s character. From the wonderful rendition of “Sempre libera” in Act I, to the sparring with Salsi’s Germont and finally the subtle and moving death scene in the final act.

La Traviata-2471 VENERA GIMADIEVA AS VIOLETTA VALÉRY © ROH. PHOTOGRAPH BY TRISTRAM KENTON

La Traviata- Venera Gimadieva as Violetta Valery © ROH. Photograph by Tristram Kenton

With Gimadieva in top form,  Sakker (Alfredo) looked understandably nervous in the early exchanges but to his great credit grew into the part to give a fine performance. The audience reaction to the moment that Salsi’s Giorgio Germont slaps Alfredo rather hard across the face indicated where their sympathies lay.

La Traviata-796 LUCA SALSI AS GIORGIO GERMONT, VENERA GIMADIEVA AS VIOLETTA VALÉRY © ROH. PHOTOGRAPH BY TRISTRAM KENTON

La Traviata- Luci Salsi as Giorgio Germont, Venera Gimadieva as Violetta Valery © ROH. Photograph by Tristram Kenton

Regardless of who plays Alfredo, it is the interaction between  Violetta and Giorgio Germont that exposes many of the hypocrisies of period. Salsi ‘s Giorgio moves from affronted and dominating father to  someone who begins to regret his action with total conviction.  Gimadieva’s Violetta shows her strength and weakness, at first standing up to Giorgio Germont before succumbing to his emotional blackmail.

La Traviata-1535 ANDREA HILL AS FLORA BERVOIX © ROH. PHOTOGRAPH BY TRISTRAM KENTON

La Traviata- Andrea Hill as Flora Bervoix © ROH.Photograph by Tristram Kenton

In a strong cast , Flora Bervoix, (Andrea Hill) , Annina ( Sarah Pring) and Baron Douphol ( Yuriy Yurchuk) all provided strong support in a well paced production directed by Daniel Dooner.  All the action takes place in opulent and lavish sets designed by Bob Crowley which illustrate the wealth and decadence of 19th century aristocratic Parisian life. The wonderful sets were complimented by the atmospheric lighting by Jean Kalman and the accomplished orchestra led by a demonstrative Yves Abel who accurately highlights the drama and melodies of Verdi’s music.

La traviata remains a firm favourite in the Royal Opera repertoire and provides wonderful entertainment which can be enjoyed on many levels whether you are new to opera or a regular operagoer. This performance was received enthusiastically by the audience and with  strong casts for the rest of the run, this is an opportunity to experience high quality opera in a marvellous setting.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

Review : Tosca at the Royal Opera House – 11th January 2016

ROYAL OPERA

Roberto Frontali as Scarpia in Tosca, Royal Opera House 2016 (Photo by Catherine Ashmore)

The ever popular Tosca returns to the Royal Opera with a revival of the 2006 Jonathan Kent production. The production features the acclaimed Angela Gheorghiu and Amanda Echalaz in the role of Floria Tosca each singing in five of the ten performances. Angela Gheorghiu has been widely acclaimed in the role since her performance in the 2006 Royal Opera production and Amanda Echalaz first played the role here in 2008 before returning to widespread critical acclaim in 2013.

Tosca is one of Giacomo Puccini’s most popular operas and was first premiered at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome in 1900. The work is based on Victorien Sardou’s 1887 play, La Tosca, which enjoyed great success with Sardou’s collaboration with actress Sarah Bernhardt.

The opera is set in Rome in 1800 when the Kingdom of Naples’s control of Rome is threatened by Napoleon’s invasion of Italy. The first act is set inside the church of Sant’Andrea della Valle where a desperate and tired Angelotti (Yuriy Yurchuk)  former consul of the Roman Republic and now an escaped political prisoner runs into the church looking for sanctuary and hides in the Attavanti private chapel.

An elderly and grumpy Sacristan (Donald Maxwell) enters and begins cleaning. He is then joined by painter Mario Cavaradossi (Najmiddin Mavlyanov) who arrives to work on his picture of Mary Magdalene. Although he is intrigued by the woman who is the inspiration for the painting, he professes his love for the singer Floria Tosca ( Amanda Echalaz ). Angelotti and Cavaradossi, are old friends with similar political sympathies and Cavaradossi agrees to help him escape, however they hear the voice of Tosca’s voice in the distance and Angelotti returns to his hiding place.

ROYAL OPERA

Najmiddin Mavlyanov as Cavaradossi, Amanda Echalaz as Tosca, Royal Opera House 2016 (Photo by Catherine Ashmore)

It is at this point when Tosca arrives and suspiciously asks Cavaradossi what he has been doing that the complex interplay between the main characters comes to the fore. Amanda Echalaz’s Tosca shows her jealous and passionate nature, whilst Najmiddin Mavlyano’s Cavaradossi shows his charismatic character in finding pleasure in charming and teasing the excitable Tosca.

This pleasing interplay is cut short by the sound of a cannon that signals that Angelotti’s escape has been discovered. From this moment the tone changes from one of frivolity to menace with the entry of Baron Scarpia, the hated Chief of Police ( Roberto Frontali ) and his henchman Spoletta (Hubert Francis). Scarpia begins to realise that the search for Angelotti will enable him to get rid of Cavaradossi and further his designs on Tosca. Roberto Frontali’s Scarpia indicates the character is  more than a pantomime villain by exposing his motives are not driven by love  but more from his enjoyment of conquest and manipulation. At the end of the first act, The Royal Opera House Chorus enters the church singing the Te Deum, Scarpia staying on the lower level of the stage joins the chorus but makes it clear that his thoughts are not on God but on rather more base emotions.

ROYAL OPERA

Roberto Frontali as Scarpia, Amanda Echalaz as Tosca, Royal Opera House 2016 (Photo by Catherine Ashmore)

The opera moves into darker territories in the second and third acts with torture, murder and suicide which illustrates why Tosca is not just a simple melodrama but rather a consideration of the ways that fate can play cruel tricks even on the righteous and difficult choices are sometimes undertaken in desperate circumstances. These dilemma’s makes the role of Tosca pivotal to the plot and places a great responsibility on the acting and singing ability of leading lady . Fortunately in this performance, Amanda Echalaz’s Tosca convinced in a wide range of emotions, her heartfelt rendition of Vissi d’arte was greatly appreciated by the audience. She was ably assisted by Najmiddin Mavlyano’s  passionate but principled Cavaradossi and Roberto Frontali’s Scarpia who portrayed the arrogance of someone who was used to abusing his position for his own ends, manipulating Tosca to break her spirit. In his moment of triumph, Scarpia seems to show genuine surprise when he finds Tosca’s kiss is particularly deadly.

ROYAL OPERA

Amanda Echalaz as Tosca, Royal Opera House 2016 (Photo by Catherine Ashmore)

Like many operas, Tosca has no happy endings but any sadness is dispelled by the consideration that you have seen a wonderful production that plays to the strengths of the piece. Andrew Sinclair’s finely paced direction was matched by the orchestra energetically led by Emmauel Villaume. Paul Brown’s grand designs with large statues evokes the crumbling of a decadent old order and Mark Henderson’s atmospheric lighting reflected the light and shade of the story.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Tosca is Puccini’s score, in many ways it defines the characters simply but adds layers of complexity that shows their humanity or sometimes lack of it. This is part of the reason for the popularity of Tosca, it can be enjoyed on many levels whether you are new to opera or a regular operagoer. Since its premiere, Tosca has been performed over 450 times at the Royal Opera House and the enthusiastic audience reaction  for this high quality production indicates that it will remain a firm favourite in the Royal Opera repertoire.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Tosca at the Royal Opera House – 9th January to 5th February 2016

tosca2016

Light and dark are the themes of one of Puccini’s most popular operas, Tosca was a hit with audiences on its 1900 premiere and it remains one of the most performed of all operas. The darkness comes from the Chief of Police, Scarpia who uses his position to pursue and torture enemies of the state.  The light emanates from the lovers, Tosca and Cavaradossi, who express their love in sublime arias.

Jonathan Kent’s production explores the themes of love and evil in a taut drama that builds up the tension towards its fateful conclusion.  Puccini’s powerful score adds to the drama with distant cannon fire during the Act I Te Deum to tolling church bells and the sounds of a firing squad.

The story centres around  painter Mario Cavaradossi agrees to help the fugitive Angelotti escape – and so attracts the attention of Scarpia, the sadistic Chief of Police. Scarpia captures Cavaradossi and has him tortured within earshot of his lover Tosca.

Tosca reveals Angelotti’s hiding place. Scarpia sentences Cavaradossi to death – but promises Tosca that the firing squad will fire blanks if she gives herself to him. Tosca secures her and Cavaradossi’s safe passage, and stabs Scarpia. She rushes to Cavaradossi on the ramparts of the Castello Sant’Angeli. He faces the firing squad and dies – Scarpia lied. Tosca throws herself off the ramparts.

Running time

About 3 hours, including two intervals. Act I lasts about 50 minutes, followed by a 25 minute interval. Act II lasts about 45 minutes, followed by a 25 minute interval. Act III lasts about 30 minutes.

Language

Sung in Italian with English surtitles

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

La traviata at the Royal Opera House – 16th January to 19th March 2016

la trav

La traviata, based on Alexandre Dumas fils’s play La Dame aux camélias, is one of Verdi’s most popular operas, combining high drama  and wonderful melodies.

Violetta is the toast of 19th-century Paris, however her love for Alfredo exposes the hypocrisy of  upper class Parisian life. Can their love  survive when they break society’s conventions ?  The role of Violetta (the ‘fallen woman’ of the title) is one of Verdi’s most complex and enduring characters.

Richard Eyre’s classic production conveys the indulgent social whirl of 19th-century Paris. It provides a vivid setting for Verdi’s tuneful score, which includes such favourites as Violetta’s introspective ‘Ah fors’è lui’ and ecstatic ‘Sempre libera’; the duet ‘Pura siccome un angelo’ as Giorgio Germont begs Violetta to leave Alfredo; and ‘Parigi, o cara’, in which the lovers poignantly imagine a life that will never be theirs.

The story centres on Alfredo and the courtesan Violetta who fall passionately in love. But Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, disapproves of their relationship. Germont convinces Violetta that she must leave Alfredo, for the family’s sake – not realizing that Violetta is very ill. Alfredo is distraught, believing that Violetta has left him out of self-interest. When Violetta is on her deathbed Germont understands the extent of her sacrifice. He confesses all to Alfredo, who is with Violetta as she dies.

Running time

About 3 hours 20 minutes | Including two intervals. Act One will last for about 40 minutes followed by a 30 minute interval. Act Two will last for 1 hour 15 minutes, followed by a 25 minute interval. Act Three will last for about 35 minutes.

Language

Sung in Italian with English surtitles

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Royal Opera House website here

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