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The Girl I Left Behind Me – The Lowry, Salford

Director: Neil Bartlett Reviewer: Sally Cinnamon [Rating:4] Performer Jessica Walker and Director Neil Bartlett, alongside MD and accompanist, James Holmes has created a time machine. It’s true! The Girl I left Behind Me transports the audience to the late 1860’s when theatres were lit by gas, where ladies wore bonnets and men wore britches, through to the 1970’s and to ...

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Porgy and Bess – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Director: Christine Crouse Music: Gershwin Reviewer: Emily Pearce [Rating: 4]   Following on from their 2009 venture, Cape Town Opera returns to the Wales Millennium Centre with Gershwin's jazz opera, Porgy and Bess, as part of a lengthier tour throughout the UK. The storyline communicated here could easily focus on the darker elements of the plot; the racism, the oppression, ...

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The Mandela Trilogy – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Director: Michael Williams Music: Alan Stephenson, Mike Campbell &Peter Louis van Dijk Book &Lyrics: Michael Williams Reviewer: Emily Pearce [Rating:4] The Mandela Trilogy is a three act new opera, written specifically for the South African company Cape Town Opera, with each part highlighting specific moments in Nelson Mandela’s life and interspersed with almost-narration from Mandela reflecting on his imprisonment. Each ...

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Billy Budd – English National Opera at the Coliseum, London

Composer: Benjamin Britten Libretto: E.M. Forster and Eric Crozier Director: David Alden Reviewer: Lilla Grindlay [rating:3.5] Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd is the tragic tale of an idealistic young man who is press-ganged to join the crew of the ship the HMS Indomitable in 1797. Billy is a strong and able sailor with only one physical defect – an occasional stammer. ...

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Porgy and Bess, Cape Town Opera, Festival Theatre – Edinburgh

Libretto: Dubose and Dorothy Heward Lyrics: Ira Gershwin Music: George Gershwin Director: Christine Crouse Conductor: Albert Horne Reviewer: Val Baskott [rating:4.5] Most of us know Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess from the iconic songs alone, such asSummertime, I got plenty of nuttin’, It ain’t necessarily so, Bess, you is my woman now, I loves you Porgy but don’t know the context. ...

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Ruddigore – Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Music: Arthur Sullivan Words: William Schwenck Gilbert Director: Jo Davies Conductor: Timothy Henty Reviewer: Edie R [rating:4.5]   When Ruddygore, the tenth Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, opened in January 1887, its composer Arthur Sullivan recorded that “the audience showed dissatisfaction”; and the comic double-act embarked on a programme of revisions, cuts and plot re-workings to rectify their reception, even altering ...

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Caligula – London Coliseum, London

Music: Detlev Glanert Director: Benedict Andrews Reviewer: Louise Thompson [rating:3] Caligula is based on Albert Camus' response to the rise of Hitler and Stalin. Set in a football stadium, we see the rise and fall of a dictator, the madness behind it and the destruction that he leaves in his wake. Caligula (played by Peter Coleman-Wright) loses his sister and ...

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Cosi Fan Tutte – Harrogate Theatre

Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Libretto: Lorenzo da Ponte Musical Director: Fraser Goulding Reviewer: Andrew Liddle [Rating:4] The Swansea City Opera company has a well-deserved reputation for bringing musical theatre to the masses - and this staging of Mozart’s comic masterpiece, Cosi Fan Tutte, certainly carries enormous popular appeal. Not the least of its attractions is that it is sung in ...

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