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The essence of Grand Opera first performed in Cairo in 1871. Set in Egypt at the time of the pharoes. A captain of guard (Radames) is in love with Aida, an Ethiopian slave girl - who happens also to be the daughter of the king of Ethiopia. Her mistress, Amneris, is also in love with Radames. When the Ethiopians invade Radames is chosen to lead the army. When they return victorious Radames asks for all the Ethiopian slaves to be released - except Aida and her father who persuades her to trick Radames into revealing the plans of the Egyptian army - but he suggests that they all run away to Ethiopia together. When Radames is accused of treason he gives himself up to let Aida and her father escape but is condemned to be improisoned alive. As the last stones are put in place Aida appears and joins him in the tomb so that they might die together.
Sung in Italian with English surtitles.
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.
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...
Puccini's most enduring opera. The story of the love of the poor poet Rodolfo for the consumptive seamstress Mimi. Set in the Latin Quarter of Paris the course of their love is constantly threatened by Rodolfo's jealousy and Mimi's illness. The painter Marcello and the provocative Musetta are the other main characters. This is where 'your tiny hand is frozen' comes from and the last few bars, as Rodolfo realises Mimi is dead, are some of opera's most moving moments.
Set in India during the Raj this is the story of forbidden love, patriotism and self sacrifice.
A different take on the Tristan und Isolde legend. Tristan and Isolde are enemies brought together when they mistakenly drink a love potion. Their affair inevitably leads to a tragedy.
Sung in English with surtitles in English (and Welsh in Cardiff and Llandudno). No interval.
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).
Y Twr explores life's all too brief struggle, from youth to old-age, from love to despair, from desire to disillusionment.
Another intense and searching opera from the UK's leading new opera company, based on the work of one of Wales' most important playwrights Gwenlyn Parry. Personal and universal. Particular and timeless. Sung in Welsh with English surtitles