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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 titles. Concert Staging.
Katya Kabanova is a woman with a gentle soul and a passionate nature, drowning in a narrow-minded small town society. She is married to Tichon, a weak man entirely under the thumb of his nightmare of a mother, Kabanicha. Katya has caught the eye of the romantic Boris, and when Tichon leaves on a business trip, temptation proves impossible to resist. Katya and Boris embark on a passionate affair, spending every night together. But when her husband returns, a storm breaks in Katya's heart and mind. Overwhelmed by a sense of guilt, she feels compelled to confess her sin.
Bizarre and spellbinding. The Magic Flute features two love stories, a serpent, a Queen, a High Priest and a comedian, whose intrigues unfold to the beauty of Mozart's most popular opera score and Schikaneder's witty dialogue
Set in Paris in1905, a three act comedy which includes a can-can at Chez Maxim's. The plot centres around the past love affair between Madame Glavari (the wealthy widow of the title) and Count Danilovitsch - which becomes inextricably entailed with the appalling state of the Pontevedrian economy (they need her cash). Several sub-plots add to the drama - the Ambassador's fondness for young females and his wife's penchant for even younger men - all help to produce an evening of witty songs and lively music.
Sung in English
Sung in Italian with English titles. Inspired by an episode in Dante's Inferno, Puccini's short opera Gianni Schicchi is an irresistible satyr play, set around the death-bed of a rich man. The scheming relatives who vie for a chunk of the dead man's fortune are all too recognisable, revealing the greed and avarice which lie just below the thin veneer of their family loyalties. With its vivid characterisation and the spontaneity of its musical invention, Gianni Schicchi is a comic masterpiece in miniature which also contains one of Puccini's best known arias, 'O mio babbino caro'. Christopher Alden's witty and imaginative contemporary staging, first seen in 2015, is revived in a double-bill with Stravinsky's avant-garde ballet The Rite of Spring, co-produced with Phoenix Dance Theatre. Written just five years apart, premiering either side of the First World War, both works are modernist and experimental in tone, offering very different reflections on the decline of an old order, and the beginning of the new. Scottish conductor Garry Walker conducts both pieces, returning to Opera North following Billy Budd (2016).
A world of exotic and dangerous decadence. The story of the young Princess of Judea's catastrophic sexual awakening in the corrupt world of Herod's court where she develops a violent sexual obsession with John the Baptist. The original play was often banned and always controversial.
Sung in German with English titles. Concert staging.
Inspired by a true story, as depicted in the 2005 film Joyeux No?l, Silent Night tells the story of the 1914 Christmas truce, when peace spontaneously broke out between French, German and Scottish troops in the trenches during the First World War.
British Premiere. Sung in English, German and French with English titles
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 titles.