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An operatic divertissement to be performed in an abridged version of Moliere's comedy Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. Both pignant and comic, Ariadne auf Naxos is an opera within an opera. The curtain opens on a Viennese salon where preparations are being made for a performance of an opera. There is consternation when the Major Domo (Chied Butler) announces that due to time pressure, a harlequin troupe will be performing comedy during the opera itself. The conflicting scenarios and contrasting characters reveal what happens when stand-up comedy meets Greek tragedy and music hall meets high art.
Il barbiere di Siviglia. A young English aristocrat arrives in Seville to woo the lovely Rosina. However, she is being pursued by an unscrupulous older man, Bartolo and it is only with the ingenious help of the quick thinking barber, Figaro, that the situation is rescued.
Two officers wager that their lovers would be faithful while they're away, and decide to test them. Faking a sudden departure to battle they return disguised to try and seduce each other's partners. The results quickly get out of hand.
The opera tells the story of how one old man learns a harsh and expensive lesson when he tries to stand in the way of true love. In the finest traditions of the genre we enjoy disguises, crooked lawyers, scheming doctors and at its heart, two love-truck youngsters trying to find a way to be together. Above all, Donizetti’s score is suffused with beauty and vivacity from which a torrent of wonderful music tumbles. First performed in 1843.
Mozart's last opera, but his first to be produced in England. Supposedly written in just 18 days this work looks at the tension between passion and duty, ego and mercy. Tito, the Roman Emperor, needs an Empress but who? Vitellia has been rejected and is out for revenge - seeking to have the Emperor assassinated by her admirer Sesto. But the plot fails and both Vitellia and Sesto are at the mercy of Tito.
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.