English Touring Opera (ETO) first revealed its 2023 season in October; more recently the opera company added two new children’s operas to the line-up. Now ETO has announced full cast and date information for the three operas that comprise is main 2023 season.
A revival of ETO artistic director James Conway’s acclaimed 2017 production of Handel’s historical opera Giulio Cesare (1724) stars Australian mezzo-soprano Catherine Carby in the title role, with English soprano Susanna Hurrell as Cleopatra. English countertenor Alexander Chance sings the role of the queen’s brother and co-ruler Tolomeo.
Northern Irish-born mezzo-soprano Carolyn Dobbin plays Cornelia and French mezzo-soprano Margo Arsane is Sesto, respectively the widow and son of the murdered Pompey, who plot to avenge his death.
The production opens at London’s Hackney Empire on 25 February, before touring to Lighthouse, Poole, on 10 March, Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield, on 13 March, Cambridge Arts Theatre on 13 April, Snape Maltings Concert Hall on 20 April, Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, on 28 April, The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, on 4 May, Buxton Opera House on 11 May, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, on 19 May, and Exeter Northcott on 25 May.
ETO’s new production of Donizetti’s powerful tragedy Lucrezia Borgia (1833) will be directed by Eloise Lally and conducted by the company’s music director Gerry Cornelius. The title role is sung by American soprano Paula Sides. London-born tenor Thomas Elwin plays her son Gennaro, while her husband Astolfo is performed by British baritone Jerome Knox.
Lucrezia Borgia opens at Hackney Empire on 3 March. The production then tours to Lighthouse, Poole (11 March), Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield (14 March), Norwich Theatre Royal (17 March), York Theatre Royal (24 March), Gala Theatre, Durham (27 March), Storyhouse Chester (31 March), Cambridge Arts Theatre (15 April), Snape Maltings Concert Hall (21 April), The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham (5 May), Buxton Opera House (12 May), Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa (20 May), and Exeter Northcott (26 May).
Finally, a new production of Rossini’s comic masterpiece Il viaggio a Reims (The Journey to Reims, 1825), to be staged by director Valentina Ceschi and conducted by Jonathan Peter Kenny, features one of the largest casts ETO has ever assembled.
The main cast comprises British sopranos Lucy Hall as Madame Cortese, the hostess of the spa hotel in which the action takes place, Luci Briginshaw as Contessa di Folleville, a fashionable young widow, and Susanna Hurrell as Corinna, a famous Roman poetess. British mezzo-soprano Esme Bronwen-Smith is Marchesa Melibea, a rich widow.
Columbian tenor Julian Henao Gonzalez takes on the part of Conte di Libenskof, a Russian general in love with Marchesa Melibea, and British tenor Richard Dowling is handsome young French officer Chevalier Belfiore. British bass Edward Hawkins is Lord Sidney, an English colonel secretly in love with Corinna, and Australian-born baritone Grant Doyle is Barone di Trombonok, a German major.
Il viaggio a Reims opens at Hackney Empire on 4 March. It then heads to Norwich Theatre Royal (18 March), York Theatre Royal (25 March), Gala Theatre, Durham (28 March), Storyhouse Chester (1 April), Cambridge Arts Theatre (14 April), Snape Maltings Concert Hall (22 April), Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (29 April), The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham (6 May), Buxton Opera House (13 May) and Exeter Northcott (27 May).
Tickets for all productions are on sale now, available from English Touring Opera.
A revival of ETO artistic director James Conway’s highly praised 2017 production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare will launch English Touring Opera’s spring 2023 season on 25 February.