Manon – Royal Ballet

ManonWe will be showing Manon live from the Royal Opera House, London on Thursday 16th October 2014. 

Manon’s brother Lescaut is offering her to the highest bidder when she meets Des Grieux and falls in love. They elope to Paris, but when Monsieur G.M. offers Manon a life of luxury as his mistress she cannot resist.

Kenneth MacMillan began work on Manon shortly after the birth of his only daughter. His source was the 18th-century French novel by Abbé Prévost, already adapted twice for opera by Massenet and Puccini. Renowned dance musician Leighton Lucas and his assistant Hilda Gaunt provided a score made from a patchwork of works by Massenet, including his famous yearning Elégie as the theme for the lovers. The premiere was given on 7 March 1974, the lead roles of Manon and Des Grieux danced by Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell. The ballet quickly became a staple of The Royal Ballet’s repertory.

MacMillan found new sympathy with the capricious Manon, bringing his customary psychological insight and the memories of his own impoverished upbringing. He described his heroine as ‘not so much afraid of being poor as ashamed of being poor’. Designs by MacMillan’s friend Nicholas Georgiadis reflect this, depicting a world of lavish splendour polluted by miserable poverty. MacMillan’s spectacular ensemble scenes for the whole Company create vivid, complex portraits of the distinct societies of Paris and New Orleans. But it is Manon and Des Grieux’s impassioned pas de deux – recalling the intensity of MacMillan’s earlier work, Romeo and Juliet – that drive this tragic story, and make Manon one of MacMillan’s most heartbreaking dramas.

Principal Guest Artist Carlos Acosta will make his debut as Manon’s scheming brother Lescaut in addition to his performances as Des Grieux partnering Natalia Osipova as Manon. First Soloists Alexander CampbellBennet Gartside and Valentino Zucchetti will also make their debuts as Lescaut during the run of performances.

First Soloist Yuhui Choe will make her debut as Lescaut’s Mistress and Soloist Thomas Whitehead will make his debut as Monsieur G.M..

The debuts of Natalia Osipova, Melissa Hamilton and Francesca Hayward in the title role have already been announced. As have those of Vadim Muntagirov and Matthew Golding as Des Grieux.

Please arrive by 6.45pm to register and to order interval drinks if you wish.

The George Hotel serves meals – please contact them directly on 01298 871382 if you would like to book a pre-show meal.

L’elisir d’amore – Royal Opera House

L'elisir d'amoreWe will be showing L’elisir d’amore live from the Royal Opera House, London on Wednesday 26th November 2014. 

Nemorino, a naive village boy, is besotted with Adina, a farm owner. She rejects his declarations of love. Fortunately, Doctor Dulcamara is on hand with a ‘love potion’ to help him win her heart.

L’elisir d’amore is one of the most frequently performed of all Donizetti’s operas. It combines a touching love story and hilarious comedy with beautiful music, including the much-loved aria ‘Una furtiva lagrima’. The opera’s premiere in Milan in 1832 was a triumph and secured Donizetti’s place as one of the leading Italian opera composers of his day.

The Royal Opera’s charming production is set in the sun-drenched countryside of 1950s Italy, complete with haystacks, Vespas and even a stray dog. It is injected with lively, visual humour, from Nemorino’s tipsy clowning to Dulcamara’s lumbering truck from which he sells his quack remedies. Donizetti deftly brings his characters alive with a sparkling score: Nemorino’s love for Adina is expressed through lyrical arias; Adina’s animated, flamboyant style softens as her feelings towards Nemorino begin to change – and all the while Dulcamara endlessly chatters away with irrepressible self-belief.

Performers

Conductor
Daniele Rustioni
Orchestra
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Adina
Lucy Crowe
Nemorino
Vittorio Grigolo
Dulcamara
Bryn Terfel
Belcore
Levente Molnár
Giannetta
Kiandra Howarth
Chorus
Royal Opera Chorus
Concert Master
Sergey Levitin

 

Please arrive by 6.45pm to register and to order interval drinks if you wish.

The George Hotel serves meals – please contact them directly on 01298 871382 if you would like to book a pre-show meal.

A Streetcar Named Desire – National Theatre

streetcarWe will be showing A Streetcar Named Desire live from the Young Vic, London at 7pm on Tuesday 16th September 2014. 

The fastest-selling production in the Young Vic’s history, Tennessee Williams’ timeless masterpiece will be broadcast live from their London home by National Theatre Live. With Gillian Anderson (The X-FilesThe Fall) as Blanche DuBois, Ben Foster (Lone SurvivorKill Your Darlings) as Stanley and Vanessa Kirby (BBC’s Great ExpectationsThree Sisters at the Young Vic) as Stella.

As Blanche’s fragile world crumbles, she turns to her sister Stella for solace – but her downward spiral brings her face to face with the brutal, unforgiving Stanley Kowalski. Visionary director Benedict Andrews returns to the Young Vic following his Critics’ Circle Award-winning Three Sisters.

Please arrive by 6.30pm to register and to order interval drinks if you wish.

The George Hotel serves meals – please contact them directly on 01298 871382 if you would like to book a pre-show meal.

I due Foscari – Royal Opera House

i Due FoscariWe will be showing I due Foscari live from the Royal Opera House, London on Monday 27th October 2014. 

Jacopo Foscari, son of the Doge of Venice, is convicted of murder and treason. His wife Lucrezia is sure of his innocence. But the Doge, trapped by the machinations of a corrupt city, is forced to make a terrible decision.

I due Foscari, Verdi’s sixth opera, is one of his darkest and saddest. At its heart is a father’s realization that there is nothing he can do to protect his family against the world’s cruelties. The 31-year-old composer may well have drawn on his own devastating experience of losing his wife and two infant children a few years earlier. But despite the opera’s sombre soul, the music for I due Foscari contains exhilarating forerunners of Verdi’s later style – particularly in the fiercely virtuosic writing for the heroine Lucrezia and her magnificent duets with the Doge in Act I and with her doomed husband in Act II.

American director Thaddeus Strassberger, making his Royal Opera debut, depicts a Venice that is rotten to its core. Mattie Ullrich’s opulent costume designs reference the opera’s 15th-century setting while suggesting the corruption lurking beneath. The spare sets of award-winning British designer Kevin Knight illustrate the Foscaris’ isolation and the decay of the city, before flaring out into grand guignol for the opera’s brilliant Act III carnival.

 

Performers

Conductor
Antonio Pappano
Orchestra
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Francesco Foscari
Plácido Domingo
Jacopo Foscari
Francesco Meli
Lucrezia Contarini
Maria Agresta
Jacopo Loredano
Maurizio Muraro
Barbarigo
Samuel Sakker
Pisana
Rachel Kelly
Fante
Lee Hickenbottom
Servant
John Morrissey
Chorus
Royal Opera Chorus
Concert Master
Peter Manning

Please arrive by 6.45pm to register and to order interval drinks if you wish.

The George Hotel serves meals – please contact them directly on 01298 871382 if you would like to book a pre-show meal.