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Tosca – The Lyceum, Sheffield

Composer: Giacomo Puccini Director: Blanche McIntyre Conductor: Michael Rosewell Designer : Florence de Maré Reviewer: Sheila Stratford Love, passion, menace, lust, revenge, intrigue and murder; Puccini's opera Tosca has it all. These great passions lead to great misery. Set in Rome around the 1800s, Floria Tosca, a famous singer, and her lover, the artist Cavaradossi, become embroiled in the political ...

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Christopher Purves and Simon Lepper – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Reviewer: Ron Simpson Opera North’s programme for the Howard Assembly Room is always impressively varied, with jazz, world music and film extensively represented, but this recital took them nearer to home base. Christopher Purves’ most recent appearance with Opera North was as Gianni Schicchi as recently as two years ago. The programme was cleverly planned, four contrasted sets of songs ...

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Opera North: The Snow Maiden/ Snegurochka – The Lowry, Salford

Composer: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Director: John Fulljames Conductor Leo McFall Designer: Giles Cadle Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden is something of a collector’s item. Although it is a winter favourite in Russia it has not been performed in the UK for over sixty years. Director John Fulljames shows no sign of being daunted by such a significant event and ...

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Opera North: Cinderella/La Cenerentola – The Lowry, Salford

Composer:  Gioachino Rossini Director: Aletta Collins Conductor: Wyn Davies Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Although promoted as part of their season of dark fairy tales Opera North strip away all supernatural elements from their modern-day production of Rossini’s Cinderella. Director Aletta Collins takes inspiration from the alternate title for the opera Goodness Triumphant. Angelina (known by the nickname Cinderella and played by ...

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La Traviata – CAST, Doncaster

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi Orchestration: Harry Blake Director/English version: Robin Norton-Hale Musical Director: Elspeth Wilkes Set Designer: Katie Bellman Reviewer: Ron Simpson The question is, “Can you watch OperaUpClose from Row J?” CAST’s first venture into full-length opera was an undoubted success in audience attendance and enthusiasm, but OperaUpClose’s company style, originally formed in the 35-seat Cock Tavern Theatre, had problems ...

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Hansel and Gretel (Opera North) – The Lowry, Salford

Composer: Engelbert Humperdinck  Author : Adelheid Wette based upon the story by the Brothers Grimm Director: Edward Dick  Conductor: Christoph Altstaedt Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Although Hansel and Gretel is relatively modest,with a cast of just six, Opera North are determined to offer value for money. Upon entering The Lowry patrons are greeted by the orchestra’s brass section playing in the ...

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Ellen Kent’s Nabucco – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi  Director: Ellen Kent Conductor:  Vasyl Vasylenko Reviewer:  Scott Matthewman Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco, telling the story of the persecution of Israelites by the Babylonians, has over the decades come to be treated as an allegory for contemporary oppression in Europe. The work’s most famous choral tune, Va, pensiero, better known as the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, has resonated from ...

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Cinderella (La Cenerentola) – The Grand, Leeds

Music: Gioachino Rossini Director: Aletta Collins Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood  Opera North’s new production Cinderella (La Cenerentola) opened on its first night at the Leeds Grand Theatre and is part of the company’s fairy tale season this winter.  Premiering in 1817, Rossini’s version is based on the libretto by Giacomo (Jacopo) Ferretti after Charles Perrault’s Cendrillon. There is no wicked stepmother, ...

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