English Touring Opera is bringing its spring 2018 season to Chester .
The season features a host of new talents in Blanche McIntyre’s Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro and a revival of the 2011 Puccini: Il tabarro and Gianni Schicchi.
English Touring Opera has been lucky to work with a diverse range of singers since James Conway joined the company as general director 15 years ago.
In the past 15 years, singers such as Dame Sarah Connolly, Amanda Echalaz and James Rutherford have stunned ETO audiences as unknown superstars.
Now ETO’s spring 2018 season looks forward to the next 15 years of opera and welcomes a whole host of new singing talent to the company.
Theatregoers can see two different shows from English Touring Opera at Storyhouse in Chester. Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro will be performed on Tuesday, March 20, followed by Puccini’s Il tabarro and Gianni Schicchi on Wednesday, March 21. The shows start at 7.30pm.
There will be a pre-show talk starting at 6.30pm before each performance.
The shows feature Cheshire opera singers Bradley Travis and Andrew Slater, who both studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
In spring 2017, Bradley starred alongside Ross Ramgobin, playing Bunthorn to Ross’ Grosvenor in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience. Bradley will perform the role of Betto in Gianni Schicchi.
Andrew Slater is a former physics teacher in Toxteth, Liverpool, which he gave up to train as a singer. Andrew plays Gianni Schicchi.
English Touring Opera’s new production of Mozart’s classic comedy, The Marriage of Figaro, is directed by Blanche McIntyre.
With period costumes and a beautiful, period set designed by Neil Irish, McIntyre’s production shines a light on the inequalities that exist in modern society, from matters of class, ethnicity and gender through the lens of a comedy performed by a very modern and energetic company.
The ETO orchestra will be conducted by Christopher Stark.
During the course of one eventful day, Figaro and Susanna must overcome every obstacle put in their way by Count Almaviva before they can finally be united as man and wife.
After the success of last year’s Tosca, McIntyre returns to direct Mozart’s classic comedy, equally acclaimed for its sublime music and huge sense of fun.
It will be sung in English with surtitles.
The cast includes Dawid Kimberg (Count), Ross Ramgobin (Figaro), Rachel Redmond (Susannah), Nadine Benjamin (Countess), Katherine Aitkin (Cherubino), Omar Ebrahim (Bartolo), Gaynor Keeble (Marcellina), Abigail Kelly (Barbarina and two performances as Susanna), Devon Harrison (Antonio), John Colyn-Gyeantey (Basilio), and Stuart Haycock (Don Curzio).
The following evening (Wednesday, March 21), audiences can enjoy the ETO revival of the much-loved 2011 production of Puccini’s Il tabarro and Gianni Schicchi double bill.
Performed on the same night, the combination of the two one-act operas provides the perfect introduction to opera for newcomers, as well as being incredible productions for any Puccini aficionado.
Both will be conducted by Michael Rosewell, with direction by James Conway (Il tabarro) and Liam Steel (Gianni Schicchi). The production will be sung in Italian with surtitles.
Il tabarro (The Cloak) is a highly-charged drama with a haunting ending, set in working class Paris at the turn of the 20th century.
In stark contrast, Gianni Schicchi is a sparkling comedy about a family inheritance set in a grand aristocratic palace in Florence, featuring one of Puccini’s best-known arias O mio babbino caro.
The full running time is two hours 10 minutes, including a 25-minute interval.
Casting includes Craig Smith, Sarah-Jane Lewis, Luciano Botelho, Bradley Travis, Galina Averina, Andrew Glover, Ian Beadle, Charne Rochford, Timothy Dawkins, Clarissa Meek, Dominic Walsh, Ed Ballard, Maciek O’Shea, Jamie Rock, Joanna Skillett, and Emma Watkinson.
Tickets range from £19.50 to £35.50 for both shows. Visit www.storyhouse.com for details.