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Opera North's Carousel set for Salford, 23 May

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A new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical Carousel plays a five-week season at the Barbican in August next year, after opening in Leeds in May and visiting the Lowry.

The production, from Opera North, is directed by Jo Davies (Ruddigore), with design by Olivier Award-winner Anthony Ward (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Oliver!) and choreography by Kim Brandstrup.

Carousel, which runs at the Barbican from 15 August to 15 September), will mark Opera North’s first long-term residency in London for over 20 years.It will open at the Grand Theatre in Leeds from 2-19 May and subsequently visit the Salford Lowry, from 23-26 May.

Carousel is a romantic fantasy from both Heaven and Earth, tracking the tragic New England love story of fast-talking carousel barker Billy Bigelow and naïve mill worker Julie Jordan.

Premiered on Broadway in 1945, it was made into a Hollywood film, starring Shirley Jones and Gordon McRae, in 1956. The score also includes "Mister Snow", "Soliloquy", "What's the Use of Wond'rin" and "You'll Never Walk Alone".

Carousel’s last major London outing was in 2008/09, when Lindsay Posner’s production starring Lesley Garrett ran at the Savoy Theatre.

Richard Mantle, general director of Opera North, said: “We are delighted to have been entrusted by the Rodgers & Hammerstein Trust to take a fresh look at Carousel. This not only enables us to continue our commitment to this strand of musical theatre work, but also gives us the opportunity to look at the way we function as a performing arts organisation in the current financial climate.”

The cast is led by Keith Phares as Billy Bigelow and he is joined by Elena Ferrari as Nettie Fowler.


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