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In 1728 John Gay's 'The Beggar's Opera' became an overnight success in it satire of politics and society and of course groundbreaking new form which essentially created the musical genre. Told by a troupe of 1980's would-be political activists fired up with anti-Thatcher sentiment using John Gay's satire as a platform for their views The Beggar's Opera of course has more than a few echoes with the Britain of today.
Vienna, in the golden age of the Empress Maria Theresa. The Feldmarschallin, beautiful and married, has a besotted young lover, Count Octavian. But Octavian is half her age, and the Feldmarschallin knows that one day she must give him up to a younger woman. How soon will that time come? When the boorish Baron Ochs charges Octavian to present a silver rose (a traditional engagement gift) on his behalf, Octavian comes face to face with the delightful Sophie; the Feldmarschallin is the first to realise what is going on.
New Production. Sung in German with surtitles in English (and Welsh in Cardiff)
Gabriel von Eisenstein is facing five days in prison, allowing his wife, Rosalinda, some illicit time alone with her lover, Alfred. Eisenstein's maid, Adele, is also looking forward to spending the evening at a fancy dress ball given by the eccentric Prince Orlovsky. When the Prison Governor arrives to take Eistenstein to prison, he is instead introduced to Alfred (who is 'entertaining' Rosalinda) and arrests the lover believing him to be Rosalinda's husband. Meanwhile, at the ball, the plot thickens...
Sung in English with surtitles in English (and Welsh in Cardiff)
Amongst the most popular of Verdi's operas, La traviata is the work of a master of the musical drama. Its perfumed arias and soaring choruses vividly depict the ravishingly decadent but glamorous world of Parisian high society as the background to a heart rending story of romantic happiness destroyed. Original book called La Dame aux Camelias.
An American naval officer (Pinkerton) 'acquires' a 15 year old Geisha wife during a stay in Japan - but has no intention of staying with her. After a while he returns to the USA and marries his fiancee. Meanwhile, Butterfly waits for him for three years, cut off from her family, religion and culture by being an American wife. And she is now a mother. When he finally returns she is overjoyed, but he brings with him his new wife. Story originally published in a magazine.
Sung in Italian with surtitles in English (and Welsh in Cardiff and Llandudno).
Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly is one of the best-loved operas of all time. Julia Burbach's revelatory new production, inspired by Japanese folkloric ghost stories, premieres at Grimeborn 2015. Sung in the original Italian (with English surtitles) but radically reframed, this haunting psychological rendering of Puccini's masterpiece is alive with the mysteries of memory, mortality and the supernatural.
A mythical love story told through music & dance. After a terrible mistake leaves the ancient sage Chyavana blinded, the beautiful princess Sukanya finds herself marrying for the sake of her kingdom. As a pair of swaggering, meddling gods watch this unlikely union blossom, will love grow in the strangest of circumstances?