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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.
A new English verison by Robin Norton-Hale with piano accompaniment. The Barber of Seville has been transported to Jane Austen's England, a world of eligible bachelors, feisty heroines and snobbish relations familiar from much-loved BBC costume dramas.
In this sensitive, spiritual and ultimately uplifting journey inspired by the events of 9/11, a disparate group of individuals is trapped high up in one of the Twin Towers, caught between earth and heaven, life and death. Described as possessing a 'rare power to remind listeners of their own inner freedom' (Guardian), Davies' distinctive sound world combines unrestrained exuberance with emotional depth. Her requiem for choir, strings and electronics, As with Voices and with Tears, was nominated for a 2011 South Bank Sky Arts Award.
World Premiere. Running time: 1hr 30mins with no interval.
Based on Pushkin's The Comedy of the Distress of the Muscovite State, of Tsar Boris and of Grishka Otrepiev - there are several version developed by Mussorsky over a number of years. Set in Russia and Poland between 1598 and 1605. Boris is 'persuaded' to accept the crown after murdering the true heir. A young monk pretends to be the murdered heir in order to avenge the death and there is a swell amongst the people in his favour. In the end Boris dies.
A Tuscan village, early 19th century. Inspired by the story of Tristan and Isolde, the shy young Nemorino buys potion from a quack, Dulcamara, in the hope of winning Adina. She seems to prefer Belcore, a sergeant of the garrison, and irritated by Nemorino's now apparent indifference towards her, she promises to marry Belcore immediately. Convinced that the elixir will take effect within 24 hours. Nemorino begs her to wait, but she refuses. Nemorino joins the army, using his enlisting bonus to buy another bottle of elixir. Finding himself suddenly surrounded by village girls , he presumes the elixir is working, unaware of the rumour that his uncle has died leaving him a large fortune. Adina feels intense envy and realises that it is Nemorino she really loves. Learning of his sacrifices, she redeems him from the army and the couple are married. Dulcamara capitalises on the apparent success of his elixir and does a roaring trade.
Running time: 2hrs (inclu. interval)
Set amongst the olive groves of southern Italy, this witty and moving opera tells the story of a love rivalry between Nemorino, a pauper with a passionate heart, and Sergeant Belcore, who is a charming womaniser with a fantastically inflated ego. They vie for the heart of the beautiful, self-assured Adina, who is looking for a grand passion, reflected in her fascination with the story of Tristan and Isolde.
Adina is the hottest property in Hollywood - and Nemorino adores her. When a self-confident army officer embarks on a very public flirtation with Adina, Nemorino is in despair, until a smooth-talking movie producer comes to his rescue with a ?love potion' which he promises will win Adina once and for all. Director Valentina Ceschi sets The Elixir of Love at a glamourous 1950s garden party at the height of Hollywood's Golden Age, with a new English libretto by Verity Bargate Award-winner Thomas Eccleshare.
Francesco Cavalli's opera L'Ormindo was first staged in Venice in 1644 at the Teatro San Cassiano, a perfect match in time and scale for this new venture. The intimate nature of the work performed by nine singers and eight musicians in the intimacy of the theatre will provide a rare experience of Baroque opera, and a level of authenticity that promises to be richly revealing as well as rewarding. Kasper Holten, Director of The Royal Opera, directs a production that draws on the theatrical conventions in London at the time, with music under the direction of Christian Curnyn, one of the most sought-after Baroque specialists of today. And as the opera will be performed in English, this is a rare opportunity to discover not only the immediacy of a stage world of jealous lovers, elopement and the intervention of Fortune and Destiny but also the unique qualities of Baroque opera itself.
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.
La voix humaine is a dialogue, but one in which the audience only ever hears one voice, as a woman and her lover agree to part during a single telephone conversation. Poulenc, in his most famous operatic work, creates a master piece out of the woman's growing realisation that it is all over, combined with her darkly comic frustrations with the telephone as a means of communication. While the central character of this piece is on the receiving end of a highly charged emotional break-up, she is neither passive nor pliant. While the man may have the upper hand in the romance, the strength of character, humanity and humour is definitely with the woman.
The UK premiere of Shchedrin's witty new comedy of Anglo-Russian misunderstanding, performed by the team that gave its premiere in 2013. Rodion Shchedrin's The Lefthander is a comedy of Russians and Englishmen, new technology, old traditions, and strong drink. Specially written for Gergiev and the Mariinsky - who gave its premiere in July 2013 - this is the first UK performance of this wickedly funny satire in the tradition of Gogol and Shostakovich. After Boris Godunov, Valery Gergiev and his Mariinsky forces present a Russian opera from the opposite extreme of the Russian soul. Rodion Shchedrin is one of music's greatest living humourists, and his work is laced with pitch-black irony and deadpan wit. Based on Nikolai Leskov's classic satirical novella of 1881, The Tale of Cross-Eyed Lefty From Tula and the Steel Flea, The Lefthander is a gloriously wry exploration of Russia's relationship with the West in general and England in particular - so it's wonderfully appropriate that it's receiving its Western European premiere here at the Barbican.
Count Almaviva lusts after the delicious Susanna, Figaro's bride to be. The neglected Countess pines for her husband's attentions and, as she tries to make him jealous, love and suspicion abound. Figaro must unravel the threads before he and Susanna can tie the knot. Also performed as Figaro's Wedding and Figaro!. First performed at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 1 May 1786