Nabucco (ROH Live) – Monday 29th April @ 7.15pm – BOOK NOW
Plácido Domingo, one of the most celebrated talents of our time, is making a major role debut. This is a rare chance to see a genre-defining masterwork, containing some of the greatest choral music ever written, along with some wonderful arias and ensembles. This new production of Nabucco is unmissable. Domingo takes another thrilling step into the baritone repertory following his triumphs as Simon Boccanegra, as he sings the title role of Nabucco for the first time. He is joined by an exciting young cast including Ukranian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska (Lady Macbeth in Macbeth for The Royal Opera, 2011) as the power-hungry priestess Abigaille. Acclaimed theatre and opera director Daniele Abbado makes his Royal Opera debut directing this coproduction with La Scala, Milan. The plot is based on the biblical story of King Nebuchadnezzar (Nabucco), and focuses on his imprisonment of the Hebrews, his struggle against his unscrupulous daughter, Abigaille, his divine punishment and final salvation. Verdi’s rich score offers melody, power and raw drama on a scale that does full justice to the opera’s epic themes of nationhood, faith, love and redemption and calls upon the full might of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and Royal Opera Chorus.
La Gioconda – Opera de Paris – Monday May 13th 2013 @ 6.30pm BOOK NOW!
In his preface to Angelo, Tyrant of Padua, one of his rare prose plays, Victor Hugo says that drama has to be both noble and real. In transposing the play to operatic form, Amilcare Ponchielli and Arrigo Boito remained faithful to Hugo. Their Gioconda, first performed at La Scala Milan in 1876, is one of the most flamboyant of classic operas. At that time, it was difficult for a composer to live in the shadow of Verdi, but Ponchielli was one of the rare artists to carve out a place and an identity for himself, not too far removed from the Master but different nonetheless. At his side, Boito, who had already demonstrated his talent as a composer with Mefistofele, proved to be even more skilled as a librettist, and he soon went on to work with Verdi. Lying somewhere between great French opera and Verdi-style drama, La Gioconda portrayed broken hearts and shattered destinies in 17th century Venice. Power and love, sacrifice and betrayal, poison and revenge: the opera brings together all the elements of melodrama and infuses them with a new lease of life, grandiose and operatic. Violeta Urmana, Luciana D’Intino, Marcelo Alvarez and Sergey Murzaev appear together under the baton of Daniel Oren and Pier Luigi Pizzi’s direction in this rare and spectacular masterpiece.
Morricone @ Cannes – Tuesday 21st May @ 7.30 - BOOK NOW
Live from the Cannes Film Festival. During his 50 years career, the Oscar Winner Ennio Morricone has scored about 500 movies and in the last 10 years has conducted over 150 concerts around the world. Maestro’s concerts are “one of its” kind type of event. The beauty and the magnificence of his work comes to live in each concert he performs. He conducts his most famous film music with its original orchestrations performing with a symphonic orchestra of 93 elements and a polyphonic choir of 80 elements. Among his repertoire he conducts: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in America, The Mission, Cinema Paradis and The Untouchables.
La Donna Del Lago (ROH Live) – Monday 27th May @ 6.30pm – BOOK NOW
The ultimate bel canto cast is assembled for this important yet rarely performed masterpiece. Based on Sir Walter Scott’s poem The Lady of the Lake, La donna del lago is the most fully Romantic of Rossini’s Italian operas. Expansive ensembles and shimmering orchestration generate an opulence seldom heard in the composer’s comic works. In Renaissance Scotland, King James V travels to the tribal Highlands, where he falls in love with Elena – the lady of the lake. Her father is fighting with the clans against the King’s rule and has promised Elena’s hand in marriage to a clan leader, Rodrigo. Meanwhile Elena herself is in love with the young romantic hero Malcolm. The plot inspired some truly galvanizing scenes, most memorably the stunning confrontation between the tenors Uberto (James V in disguise) and Rodrigo. John Fulljames’s staging evokes the exoticized mystery of Rossini’s Romantic landscape, and provides an insight into this rich but under-explored seam of operatic gold. In the hands of three of the leading bel canto voices of our time, Juan Diego Flórez (Count Almaviva in The Royal Opera’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Tonio in The Royal Opera’s La Fille du régiment), Joyce DiDonato (who sang the title role in Cendrillon with The Royal Opera last Season), and Colin Lee (Tonio in the 2012 revival of La Fille du régiment), La donna del lago promises to be a musical revelation.
Gloriana (ROH Live) – Monday 24th June @7.00pm – BOOK NOW
This important new staging of Gloriana marks three major anniversaries: 60 years since the Queen’s Coronation, 60 years since the opera’s premiere at the Royal Opera House, and the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth. Britten’s portrait of the public and private faces of Elizabeth I is a brilliant depiction of the Tudor court and the tension between affairs of state and affairs of the heart. Focusing on Elizabeth’s relationship with the young Earl of Essex, Gloriana captures the dichotomy between the public image of the Virgin Queen and her seething personal feelings – a familiar dichotomy in these days of celebrity-worship and media scrutiny. Award-winning director Richard Jones (Il trittico, Anna Nicole) directs a Gloriana for our time, framing the depiction of the 16th-century Queen in a setting that re-creates the excitement of our own Queen’s Coronation year. A superlative British cast brings to life this under-appreciated gem, a unique tribute both to the nation’s monarch and to its greatest opera composer.
La Sylphide – Palais Garnier (live recording at the Opera Garnier, July 2004) – Wednesday 26th June 2013 BOOK NOW!
Created in 1832 at the Paris Opera, Philippe Taglioni’s La Sylphide heralded the advent of the romantic ballet. The delicate and ethereal dancer Marie Taglioni played the unattainable, dream-conjured sylph, alongside Joseph Mazilier. In the point shoes and long diaphanous tutus she wore in La Sylphide, the ballerina became an emblematic figure. The libretto by Adolphe Nourrit was inspired by romantic tales recounting the impossible love between a human and a supernatural creature. The tormented young James finds himself torn between the promise of a comfortable life held out by his impending marriage to Effie and the freedom embodied by the Sylphide, that inaccessible ideal who comes to him in his dreams. The work was a critical triumph from the outset, praised in particular by Théophile Gautier, who would later write the libretto for Giselle. This emblematic ballet was lost to the repertoire for over a century. It is now being presented at the Paris Opera in a faithful recreation by Pierre Lacotte, whose immense choreographic culture has enabled him to unravel and recast the spells of the grand French romantic style.