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Preview Opera North Autumn Programme

Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni - As he seduces his way across Europe, bedding 1003 women in Spain alone, Don Giovanni’s libertinism is a challenge not only to human morality, but also to God. From an old Spanish potboiler Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte forged a dramma giocoso without parallel. Dark comedy vies with tense drama, and the beauty and terror of the score are evidence of a supreme musical dramatist at the height of his powers, divinely (and perhaps diabolically) inspired.

Opera North’s first Don Giovanni for seven years is directed by Alessandro Talevi, whose insightful production of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw was one of the highlights of the 2009/10 season.

Sung in Italian with English titles.

The Makropulos Case - ‘A 300-year-old beauty – and eternally young – but only burnt-out feeling. Cold as ice. About such a woman I shall write an opera.’ Leoš Janá?ek

One hundred years after the death of Baron Prus, a battle rages over his inheritance. The true heir to the fortune remains a mystery, until the famous opera singer Emilia Marty reveals the whereabouts of a lost will. The fascinating ‘EM’ has a secret of her own: when a child, she was given a potion granting her 300 years of life. Now, it’s wearing off. Confronted with her own mortality at last, she starts to question the value of everlasting life.

Janá?ek’s opera is both a mystery thriller and a meditation on immortality and desire. The beguiling, powerfully original score mixes terse drama with glowing lyricism, the everyday with the unearthly. With a top-flight international cast and creative team, this production is the culmination of Opera North’s cycle of Janá?ek’s major operas.

Sung in English with English titles.

Faust – Faust is a man of middle age who has grown tired of life and yearns only for sensual pleasure and for his lost youth. He summons up Méphistophélès, who agrees to grant his desires – but at the price of his eternal soul. An innocent woman, Marguerite, falls victim to this diabolical pact when she is seduced by Faust: the result is her destruction. But whilst for Marguerite there is hope of redemption, for Faust there is none.

Like many artists in 19th-century Europe – among them his countryman Berlioz – Gounod was fascinated with Goethe’s great Faust drama; from it, he fashioned an opera distinctively French, overflowing with memorable melodies. It was an instant hit with audiences throughout the continent, and remains, alongside Carmen, one of the most popular of French operas. Ran Braun and Rob Kearley’s new production stresses the timeless resonance of one of the great legends of western culture.

Sung in French with English titles.


Posted on Tuesday 14th August 2012

Grand Theatre & Opera House

46 New Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NZ

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