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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)
Written shortly after The Marriage of Figaro. Based on the famous legend of Don Juan the master seducer from whom no woman can be considered safe. Don Giovanni pursues, seduces, rapes and murders and in the climax is pulled to hell by a stone statue of one of his victims come to life - he remains unrepentant. His servant Leporello witnesses all his masters wrongs. There is also a rarely performed opera of the same name (and story) by Giuseppe Gazzaniga which was first performed in 1786, eight months before Mozart's version.
Sung in Italian, with English and Welsh surtitles
Based on Pushkin's masterpiece of Russian literature, Tchaikovsky's great opera tells of the fated love between the innocent Tatyana and the world-weary cynic Eugene Onegin. The opera includes the famous 'letter scene', a tour-de-force of the soprano repertoire, in which Tatyana dramatically and magnificently declares her true love for Onegin, a love that is tragically rejected. The ensuing maelstrom of emotions ends in duel between Onegin and his best friend, the poet, Lensky, which leaves Lensky dead and Onegin devastated. Years later, at the St Petersburg Ball, Onegin meets Tatyana again and realises his mistake, but now the married Tatyana is unable to accept his love.
Sung in Russian, with English and Welsh surtitles.
Janacek's last opera. Set in a Siberian prison, each act tells the story of a different prisoner reliving a crisis from his past. Themes of compassion, humanity and forgiveness raise this from the darkness.
Sung in English, with English and Welsh surtitles.
The Force of Destiny, a passionate and tragic opera set in 18th Century Spain. The tragic killing of Leonora's father during her elopement with Alvaro and her brother's subsequent quest for revenge.
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 English surtitles.
Rigoletto, the hunchbacked court jester wants revenge. His beloved daughter, Gilda, has been abducted and seduced by the Duke and he hires a hit-man to assassinate him. Tragedy prevails in Verdi's masterpiece of love, lust and betrayal. Based on Hugo's Le roi s'amuse. First performed at La Fenice in Venice on 11 March 1851
Sung in Italian with English surtitles. Some scenes contain nudity.
It is the eve of the Battle of Marengo. Napoleon's army has caused chaos and disarray throughout all Italy. Against this background of political turmoil stands Floria Tosca, Rome's famous and most beautiful opera singer. To save her lover, Cavaradossi, she must sacrifice her virtue to the evil Baron Scarpia. Can the power of love and honour ever prevail against the forces of corruption and betrayal? Tosca is a moving and passionate exploration of personal freedom, the cost of ideals and the choices forced on us by love.
Sung in Italian, with English and Welsh surtitles.