Sitting smack bang in the middle of Leicester city’s cultural quarter, it is small wonder that after a mere six years of its young life, the Curve Theatre is set to play host to the Opera next week.
Typically thriving on a programme of ever popular musicals and stand up shows, this diverse form of theatre is set to provide a welcome challenge for the playhouse. The Curve has secured prestigious company English Touring Opera (ETO) to put on distinct operas over the course of two evenings only. Presenting Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte on March 11th and Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra on the 12th, both will be performed in costume with a full orchestra and chorus.
The company are said to concentrate on storytelling through bel canto, or beautiful singing, revealing a summary of both performances on the theatre’s webpage:
Così Fan Tutte is a high energy, laugh-a-minute comedy and one of Mozart’s most famous operas. In one day, fiancés are parted, and new fiancés found – or so it seems. Discovering they are not at all the people they thought they were is strange, exciting, and very embarrassing. Director Paul Higgins has worked on numerous productions at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. His new period production will be sung in English with a full orchestra.
Simon Boccanegra is ETO’s first new Verdi production in several years. In this thrilling drama set in the Italian port of Genoa, the title character is a former pirate who returns to the city to become its leader. Filled with evocative images of the Mediterranean and beautifully observed characters, this ambitious, large-scale production is directed by James Conway, General Director of ETO, and conducted by Michael Rosewell. Simon Boccanegra is sung in Italian with English surtitles.
James Conway, ETO’s General Director, said: “We’re very excited to be performing at Curve for the first time, and I really think we’ve got a season where there’s something for everybody – opera lovers and those who want to love opera but are a little shy of trying. Così Fan Tutte is a profound piece psychologically, and a perfect music score. Simon Boccanegra is astonishing, red blooded Verdi at the very top of his game. I often meet opera-shy people who say that if they go they want it to be the real thing: well, this is it.”
ETO, whose tagline is ‘Opera That Moves’, is the leading touring opera company in the UK, travelling to more regions and venues than any other English opera company – generally those who receive little or no opera. ETO aims to offer opera to everyone, with a wide range of high-quality professional productions and educational projects. Its Spring 2013 UK tour also includes a new ‘space opera’ for young people, Laika The Spacedog, and SPIN, an opera for children with profound learning difficulties.
Such productions mark the opening up of this often misunderstood art form, and when getting there can cost as little as £5, there’s never been a better time to enjoy Opera locally.
Tickets for both performances at the Curve start from just £15, and can be purchased from the Theatre’s website http://www.curveonline.co.uk.