The Olivier Award-nominated team behind 2017’s La bohème (The Bohemians, Puccini, 1896) at King’s Head Theatre will present Opera Undone: Tosca & La bohème at the Trafalgar Studios next month.
Opera Undone is a new project in King’s Head Theatre’s innovative opera programming. It takes well-known operas and radically reimagines them for a modern audience in a punchy 60-minute format and sung entirely in English.
King’s Head Theatre’s Adam Spreadbury-Maher directs the double-bill, with music direction from David Eaton. Design is by Amanda Mascarenhas, with lighting by Nic Farman.
The two tragedies are among Puccini’s most popular works and are some of the most frequently performed operas. For this new production these two stories of love, heartbreak and deception have been reworked to a contemporary setting.
Tosca (1900) is a timely story of love, lies and abuse set in 1940s New York. Amid the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, an all-powerful mafia boss with media connections preys on a singer, seeking to manipulate and distort her relationship with an up-and-coming animator for his own nefarious purposes.
La bohème is a modern take on relationships, addiction and co-dependency in Peckham, south-east London. On-off couple Marcus (Marcello in the original) and Melissa (Musetta) navigate the emotional complexities of a polyamorous relationship, while flatmate Rod’s (Rodolfo) gratification on Grindr is disrupted when he meets the beautiful and enigmatic Luca (Mìmi).
British soprano Fiona Finsbury and British/Iranian soprano Honey Rouhani share the roles of Melissa and Tosca, with Italian-Australian tenor Robert Barbaro, British tenor Philip Lee and Scottish tenor Roger Paterson sharing the roles of Cavaradossi, Rod and Luca. Cypriot Baritone Michael Mario Georgiou and British baritone Hugo Herman-Wilson share the roles of Scarpia and Marcus.
Opera Undone: Tosca & La Boheme opens at Trafalgar Studios on 5 February. Performances continue to 7 March. Visit Trafalgar Studios’ what’s on pages for more information.
Opera Undone: Tosca & La bohème will present radical new versions of two of Puccini’s most popular operas at London’s Trafalgar Studios.