21/05/2010 - Theatre Royal

Opera North at
Theatre Royal, Newcastle
22 – 26 June 2010
Press Nights: Theatre Royal, Newcastle
La Bohème
Mary Stuart
- Tue 22 June at 7.30 pm
- Wed 23 June at 7.30 pm
- Fri 25 June at 7.00 pm
* Puccini's evocative, passionate, heartbreaking La Bohème
* Donizetti's compelling, tragic, powerful Mary Stuart
* Dvořák's ethereal, sensuous, chilling Rusalka
Sung in Italian with English titles
The Summer Season opens with an exciting new cast and conductor when La Bohème returns to the Theatre
Royal in June. Director Peter Relton revives Phyllida Lloyd’s highly successful 1993 production, set in the
slightly grimy, tumultuous Paris of the 1950s. The multi award-winning Phyllida Lloyd, whose stage production
and film of the musical Mamma Mia! created a global phenomenon, began her operatic directing career at Opera
North when she directed Chabrier’s L’Etoile in 1991. Subsequent successes have included Gloriana (1999) and
most recently the critically acclaimed Peter Grimes (2006).
La Bohème is a tragic tale of passion, young romance, jealousy and heartbreak, set in 1950s Paris. The young
poet Rodolfo falls head over heels in love with his neighbour Mimi, while his friend, Marcello, takes up with goodtime girl Musetta. Their love affairs blossom amongst the hustle and bustle of the Paris cafés, until news of Mimi's
illness tears their lives apart and the opera ends in tragedy.
The Australian tenor Aldo Di Toro makes his Opera North debut as Rodolfo, a role he has recently sung for
Opera Holland Park. Sarah Fox (Musetta 2010) returns to the production to sing the role of Mimi. The Polish
baritone Marcin Bronikowski carries over his role as Marcello from the Winter into the Summer Season. Making
their Opera North debuts are bass Tim Mirfin as Colline, a role he has performed with the Hamburg State Opera,
and the Norwegian baritone Thorbjørn Gulbrandsøy as Schaunard. Soprano Jeni Bern (Trixie, Let 'em Eat
Cake, 2009) sings Musetta and Opera North favourite, baritone Eric Roberts (Solon, The Fortunes of King
Croesus, 2007) is both Benoit and Alcindoro, whilst Paul Rendall is Parpignol.
The Swedish violinist and conductor, Tobias Ringborg will take up the baton.
Press Night:
Tue 22 June at 7.30 pm
Theatre Royal, Newcastle
Cast and production team:
Sarah Fox
Tobias Ringborg
Aldo Di Toro
Original Director
Phyllida Lloyd
mf .../
la bohème cast and production team contd ./
Benoit / Alcindoro
Marcin Bronikowski
Jeni Bern
Thorbjørn Gulbrandsøy
Tim Mirfin
Eric Roberts
Paul Rendall
Revival Director
Original Set &
Original Lighting Designer
Revival Lighting
Revival Choreographer
Peter Relton
Anthony Ward
Rick Fisher
Colin Smith
Tim Claydon
La Bohème is sponsored by Yorkshire Bank
Sung in Italian with English titles
In this one of Donizetti's most powerful scores, two exceptional singers return to the Company. The
distinguished mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly will sing the role of Mary, the Catholic Queen of Scotland.
Sarah was last heard as Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi, 2008) in the earlier exploration of bel canto at
Opera North. Taking the role of her cousin, the Protestant Queen Elizabeth, the Company is delighted to
welcome back the Italian soprano Antonia Cifrone, who received high acclaim for her portrayal of Lady
Macbeth (Macbeth 2008).
Mary Stuart is the tale of a titanic struggle for supremacy between two Queens divided by jealousy.
A battle for England’s soul takes place when Elizabeth I, protector of the Protestant faith, clashes with her
Catholic cousin, Mary Queen of Scots. Intertwined with secrets, deceit and desire Mary Stuart presents a
mighty clash of wills between two of the most powerful women ever to have lived.
The Turkish tenor, Bülent Bezdüz (Rodolfo, La Bohème 2010) makes his second appearance this year
with the Company, as Leicester, as does the French bass Frédéric Bourreau (Colline, La Bohème 2010)
who sings Talbot. The Welsh baritone David Kempster, as Cecil and soprano Michelle Walton as Anna
both make their company debuts.
Antony McDonald returns to make his Opera North directorial debut with the Company this season, and
also designs the sets and costumes. He previously designed the sets for Pelléas et Mélisande (2001)
and One Touch of Venus (2005). His production team is completed with Lucy Carter, lighting designer
and with movement by Lucy Burge.
Guido Johannes Rumstadt takes up the baton, making his operatic debut.
Press Night:
Wed 23 June at 7.30 pm
Theatre Royal, Newcastle
Cast and production team:
Mary Stuart
Sarah Connolly
Elizabeth I
Antonia Cifrone
Bülent Bezdüz
David Kempster
Frédéric Bourreau
Michelle Walton
Set &
Costume Designer
Lighting Designer
Guido Johannes Rumstadt
Antony McDonald
Antony McDonald
Lucy Carter
Lucy Burge
mf .../
Sung in English with English titles
Olivia Fuchs returns to the Company to direct the revival of her 2003 production of Dvořák's only wholly
successful opera, which is inspired by Fouqué’s Undine and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.
Olivia's production team is completed with the original set and costume designer Niki Turner, lighting designer
Bruno Poet and revival choreographer Tim Claydon.
This lyric fairy-tale opera evokes a sensuous world of moonlit water and dreams and the harsher human world.
It is a spellbinding tale of innocence, yearning, disappointment and the transcendent power of love, as Rusalka, a
water nymph, yearns to be part of the human world having fallen in love with a Prince. In order to win his love she
enlists the help of a witch. All goes well until he succumbs to the charms of an evil foreign Princess, and Rusalka
is forced to make a heartrending sacrifice.
Set in pre-revolutionary Russia, Giselle Allen returns to the title role. Giselle last appeared with the Company as
Ellen Orford in the award-winning production of Peter Grimes (2007/2008). Richard Berkeley-Steele (title role
Siegfried, ENO) makes his Opera North debut as The Prince. Anne-Marie Owens (Dame Hannah, Ruddigore,
2010), one of Britain's most popular mezzo-sopranos, sings the manipulative Ježibaba, a role which brought her
great success at Grange Park in 2008. Bass Richard Angas (Old Adam Goodheart, Ruddigore 2010) reprises
his role as the Water Sprite and Susannah Glanville (Elisabeth, Don Carlos, 2009) is the jealous Foreign
Princess. The cast is completed by Mark Le Brocq as the Huntsman / Gamekeeper and Catherine Hopper
makes her Opera North debut as the Kitchen Boy. Natasha Jouhl, Kim-Marie Woodhouse and Alexandra
Sherman return to the production as the Wood Nymphs.
Oliver von Dohnányi conducts, bringing vast experience of this, his native repertoire, to the production.
Press Night:
Fri 25 June at 7.00 pm
Theatre Royal, Newcastle
Cast and production team:
Giselle Allen
Richard Berkeley-Steele
Water Sprite
Richard Angas
Anne-Marie Owens
Foreign Princess Susannah Glanville
Mark Le Brocq
Kitchen Boy
Catherine Hopper
Wood Nymphs
Natasha Jouhl
Kim-Marie Woodhouse
Alexandra Sherman
Set & Costume
Lighting Designer
Revival Choreographer
Oliver von Dohnányi
Olivia Fuchs
Niki Turner
Bruno Poet
Tim Claydon
- Ends -
For more information/images/press tickets please contact:
Deborah Hinks Tour Press Officer Opera North 0113 223 3522 07801 42 00 55
[email protected]
Marianne Quayle Press & Communications Officer Theatre Royal, Newcastle 0191 244 2518
[email protected]
Notes to Editors:
A short extract and synopsis of, La Bohème, Mary Stuart and Rusalka, together with interviews from
Directors and Artists, excerpts of music and podcasts are available at: www.operanorth.co.uk
Diary of Performances:
Theatre Royal, Newcastle – 7.00pm and 7.30 pm
Box Office: 08448 11 21 21 or www.theatreroyal.co.uk
La Bohème
Mary Stuart
La Bohème
Mary Stuart
- Tue
- Wed
- Thu
- Fri
- Sat
22 June
23 June
24 June
25 June
26 June
- 7.30 pm
- 7.30 pm
- 7.30 pm
- 7.00 pm
- 7.30 pm
BSL Interpreted performance of La Bohème by Wendy Ebsworth MBE on Tue 24 June at 7.30 pm
Audio Described performance of Rusalka by Vocaleyes: Fri 25 June at 7.00 pm
T - Talk Opera - free pre-performance presentation – Mary Stuart on 23 and 26 June at 6.30 pm, and Rusalka on
25 June at 6.00 pm.
Performances at the Theatre Royal Newcastle are assisted by a grant from the Northern Rock
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