Opera North returns with a stunning trio of productions
This month brings the long-awaited return of Opera North to the Theatre Royal Nottingham, with the company’s first full live season and tour since the beginning of the pandemic.
The season opens on Wednesday, November 17, with Opera North’s first new production of Carmen in more than a decade (also to be seen on November 19).
With its themes of femininity, desire, violence and toxic masculinity, Bizet’s passionate masterpiece continues to resonate strongly with audiences today, ensuring it remains one of the most popular operas of all time.
Edward Dick returns to the company to direct the production following his critically-acclaimed Tosca in 2018.
He explained: “Essentially, I want to harness the raw energy of the music, whilst creating a production that makes an audience think about the attitudes that are embedded in the opera.”
American mezzo-soprano Chrystal E. Williams makes her Opera North debut in the title role, alongside American tenor Erin Caves as Don José.
Leonard Bernstein takes centre-stage the following day (and also on November 20), when a double-bill of his works explores the tensions which can arise in both a relationship and in society at large.
His one-act opera Trouble in Tahiti puts the American Dream under the spotlight, as the cracks begin to show in Sam and Dinah’s seemingly perfect marriage in 1950s suburbia.
First performed as part of Opera North’s Little Greats season of short operas in 2017, this revival, directed by Matthew Eberhardt, sees baritone Quirijn de Lang returning in the role of Sam, with American mezzo Sandra Piques Eddy joining him as Dinah.
Paired with Trouble in Tahiti is a new co-production of West Side Story Symphonic Dances in collaboration with Phoenix Dance Theatre.
West Side Story is a landmark of musical theatre and Bernstein’s standalone Symphonic Dances extracted from the show are packed with mambos, waltzes and cha-chas.
Conducted by Antony Hermus, Opera North’s principal guest conductor, and choreographed by Phoenix Dance Theatre’s recently appointed artistic director Dane Hurst, Symphonic Dances is an entirely new dance work which responds to these rhythms as dancers navigate the rough edges and walls of city life, exploring conflict and the need to connect.
The double bill will be complemented by a short spoken word performance, Halfway and Beyond, by poet, writer and performer Khadijah Ibrahiim.
For more on how to get tickets for Opera’s North eagerly-awaited visit, you can go online and check out www.trch.co.uk