Opera at the double

Helen Sherman and Leonel Pinheiro during rehersals for Mid Wales Opera's Carmen. Photo: Robert Workman.
Helen Sherman and Leonel Pinheiro during rehersals for Mid Wales Opera's Carmen. Photo: Robert Workman.

Renowned Mid Wales Opera will celebrate 25 years on the road with a performance of Bizet’s masterpiece Carmen in Buxton.

The production company returns to the opera house on Sunday September 28 and, accompanied by a live orchestra, will present the tale of the seductive temptress – Carmen – who lures the innocent Don José and whisks him off on a journey of love, loss, betrayal and jealousy.

The tale ends in tragedy when, in a passionate rage, Don José kills Carmen in one of the most dramatic moments in stage history.

Mid Wales Opera’s exciting new production is directed by world famous opera director and polymath Dr Jonathan Miller, with Mid Wales’ artistic director Nicholas Cleobury conducting the orchestra.

And in a double-header of sumptuous performances for opera fans, award-winning Ellen Kent return with a traditional production of Verdi’s masterpiece, Rigoletto on Tuesday October 14.

Featuring a highly praised chorus, full orchestra and handpicked soloists, together with lavish sets and costumes, Rigoletto comes after a previously highly-acclaimed performance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Rigoletto is based on a controversial play ‘The King Who Amuses Himself’ by Victor Hugo.

The piece reflects the sexual depravity of the Mantuan ducal court and due to its explicit content Verdi’s original opera adaptation was banned as soon as it opened.

After editing out a particularly salacious scene, Verdi battled with censors in Italy eventually renaming it Rigoletto, before it could reopen.

Wishing to reproduce Verdi’s original intentions Ellen Kent has included the ‘naked’ scene which drew such offense, which is essential to the heart of the story. The opera will also include the magnificent golden eagle and two regal hunting dogs.

Performances start at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced from £15 to £23 for Carmen and from £21 to £36 for Rigoletto.

They can be purchased from the box office on 0845 127 2190 or via www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.