ENGLISH Touring Opera returns to York Theatre Royal with two deeply contrasting operas, Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia on March 24 and Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims the following night, each directed by a woman staging her first production with the London company.
Period-instrument specialists The Old Street Band will play for both operas, the first time the operas by Donizetti and Rossini have toured in the United Kingdom with a period instrument orchestra.
Donizetti’s tragedy of a complex woman in a dangerous situation, Lucrezia Borgia, is making its debut in the English Touring Opera (ETO) repertoire in a new production of this thrilling and moving meditation on power and motherhood by Eloise Lally in her ETO directorial debut.
Paula Sides takes the title role, with Thomas Elwin as Gennaro, Katie Coventry as Orsini and Aidan Edwards as Alfonso. ETO music director Gerry Cornelius conducts.
The new production of Il Viaggio a Reims (March 25) is another first for ETO. Intrigue, politics, romance and lost luggage all play their part in Rossini’s last Italian opera, as a group of entitled guests from all over Europe is stranded in a provincial hotel on the way to a great coronation.
Featuring a cast of 27 – one of the largest ever assembled by ETO – the production features the burgeoning singing talents of Lucy Hall as Madame Cortese, Luci Briginshaw as Contessa di Folleville, Susanna Hurrell as Corinna and Julian Henao Gonzalez as Conte di Lebenskopf.
Valentina Ceschi, who directed ETO’s online opera The Firebirdlast year, makes her ETO theatrical directorial debut; ETO artist in association Jonathan Peter Kenny conducts.
Lucrezia Borgia and Il Viaggio a Reims are part of ETO’s first season under the leadership of new general director Robin Norton-Hale. Tickets for the two 7.30pm performances are on sale on 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
0785: L-R: Llio Evans (Modestina), Lucy Hall (Contessa di Folleville), Esme Bronwen-Smith (Marchesa Melibea), Julian Henao Gonzales (Conte de Libenskopf), Richard Dowling (Chevalier Belfiore), Grant Doyle (Barone di Trombonok), Jean-Kristof Bouton (Don Alvaro), Timothy Dawkins (Don Profundo), Edward Hawkins (Lord Sidney), Lucy Hall (Madame Cortese), Jerome Knox (Don Prudenzio), Eleanor Sanderson-Nash (Delia) in Il viaggio a Reims