Opera Anywhere is touring a packed programme of new and revived productions of Gilbert and Sullivan classics, a Mozart comedy and a mixed evening of popular arias, duets and ensembles from some of opera’s most famous females.
Opera’s Heroines, presented in collaboration with Sorelle, explores the face and fate of women in opera. The first half of the concert tells the stories of those feisty, wronged women determined to win back their love, seek revenge, or forge their own route to happiness.
The programme includes ‘Vissi d’arte’ (‘I lived for my art’) from Tosca (1900) by Puccini, ‘Soave sia il vento’ (‘May the wind be gentle’) from Mozart’s Così fan tutte (Women Are Like That, 1790), a medley from The Sound of Music, and the Ladies’ Trio from Beatrice et Benedict (1862) by Berlioz.
The second half of the evening comprises a fully staged performance of Puccini’s one-act opera, Sister Angelica, sung in English. The production is set in a rural convent in the Republic of Ireland in the 1950s This superstitious and isolated community is driven to ostracise Angelica by their disgust at her social fall from grace and their refusal to accept their own hypocrisy.
Performances take place in Southwold and Hove.
Opera Anywhere’s new production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe (1882) is an operetta for our times, poking fun at power, privilege and parliamentary democracy. In this tale of forbidden love between fairies and mortals, Strephon, the half-fairy, half-mortal son of the fairy Iolanthe, has fallen in love with Phyllis, a ward of the court.
But for them to marry, Phyllis needs the Lord Chancellor’s permission, which is going to be tricky as he hopes to marry her himself – as does half the House of Lords.
Performances take place throughout the summer at venues in Finchley, Cheltenham and St Albans.
The company is also performing two long-established productions of Gilbert and Sullivan classic comedies. HMS Pinafore (1878) will tour to venues in Teddington, Swerford, Southwold, Woking and Abingdon, while The Pirates of Penzance (1879) is on at venues in Upper Oddington, Langport, Henley-on-Thames and Brackley.
The former is a tale of mismatched love across social classes. Josephine is the captain’s daughter and has fallen for lowly sailor Ralph. Yet her father has other ideas – he has promised her to Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty. Will love prevail?
An unfortunate case of mishearing initiates the plot for The Pirates of Penzance, resulting in a dramatic change of direction for Frederic, who sets a course to become a pirate rather than a pilot.
Finally, Opera Anywhere will take its revival of Mozart’s The Magic Flute (1791) to the Calne Music and Arts Festival and Dorchester Arts.
Tamino, a young man with a passion for reading, discovers a book about a fantastical world in which cruel darkness is defeated by the light. He meets the Queen of the Night and her rival, the mighty Sarasto, high priest of the sun.
He is charged with rescuing the queen’s beautiful daughter Pamina, who has been kidnapped by Monostatos, a mean and greedy servant working for Sarastro. Accompanied by the bird-catcher Papageno, Tamino sets out on a journey in search of love, truth and honour.
Tickets for all performances are on sale now. See Opera Anywhere’s website for date, location and price information.
Opera Anywhere is a touring company that specialises in producing accessible, innovative and entertaining opera and operetta for all ages. Performances take place in a variety of venues, including theatres, concert halls, churches, festivals, museums, galleries and outside.
A new production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe features on Opera Anywhere’s summer touring programme.