OperaWatch: What’s on in Winter
As I look out of the window of the OperaWatch offices, housed on the 43rd floor of Northern Soul Towers, I can see snow-covered lands as far as the Lakes.
Winter has finally arrived and with it an exiting new opera season. There is much to see and enjoy in the coming months including three Opera North productions at The Lowry, more streaming gems from HOME, and a glittering new production of an old favourite at the Royal Northern College of Music. Yes, there is much to gladden the heart of this old opera correspondent at the start of another operatastic year.
Weather permitting, I’m heading t’other side of the Pennines on Tuesday (January 19) to Leeds Grand Theatre, home of Opera North, to see Umberto Giordano’s Andrea Chenier, Annabel Arden’s new production of the tragic tale of the Romantic poet, Chenier, and his love for the young aristocrat, Maddalena. This being the French Revolution, it was not a good time to fall for aristos and poor old Andrea duly loses his head (à la guillotine). What with last season’s body count, I’m beginning to feel like a crime correspondent, but the guillotine is a bit of a novelty and I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s staged. Andrea Chenier is also famous for containing the aria that Tom Hanks metaphorically rogers Denzel Washington with in Philadelphia. I’m catching this one early as in mid March I’m off on my annual pilgrimage to the Hong Kong Film Festival and so will miss the season at The Lowry. The other productions include Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart (March 16 and 18) and Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (March 17), both lovely romantic tales and no bodies.
If you miss Cosi Fan Tutte, don’t worry as there is another production in town at the RNCM (March 9, 11, 15, and 17, matinee 3.00pm, March 13 and 19). The college is proud to welcome back alumnus, Thomas Guthrie, to direct his first RNCM Opera production. I always enjoy RNCM operas and I’m looking forward to seeing this. I love this story of the intrigue of the heart as two young women of Naples have their fidelity tested to the limit for the sake of a cruel wager. Mozart at his mischievous best.
Finally, two classics at HOME. Turandot by Puccini (5.40pm, January 30) is being streamed live from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. It is a revival of Franco Zeffirelli’s ‘golden’ production and conducted by Paolo Carignani. It should be a sumptuous affair. For my ‘pop cult’ readers, it contains the aria Nessun dorma, made popular by Pavarotti as the theme to the BBC’s coverage of the 1990 World Cup and for making Gazza cry. I am apoplectic with childlike anticipation. It is followed by La traviata (6.30pm, February 4) from the Royal Opera House. Verdi’s outstanding story of the love and death of Violetta, a 19th century courtesan, is one of the true greats of opera. Bring a box of hankies.
Reviews, of course, to follow and I hope you get to see as many as you can. From all of us in the OperaWatch offices at Northern Soul Towers, have a great opera-going 2016.
By Robert Hamilton, Opera Correspondent
If you would like to be included in the next OperaWatch, send your links, blogs and press releases to firstname.lastname@example.org who will pass them onto Robert Hamilton
- Photo Gallery: Brine, Steam and Rust, Lion Salt Works Museum, Northwich
- “It’s important to talk about northern voices.” Portico Prize-winning author Jessica Andrews on class, gender and the north
- Frissons of fear and jangling nerves: writer Jeremy Dyson talks about the return of Ghost Stories
- The national museum of democracy on its tenth anniversary: People’s History Museum
The Northern Travel & Tourism Show, February 25, 2020
The Northern Travel & Tourism Show on February 25, 2020 is the perfect place to find great ideas for future leisure visits and experiences, and enjoy the amazing Monastery host venue in Manchester.
You’ll meet over 45 exhibitors from lake and river cruises, steam railway trips and stately homes and gardens to themed Beatles heritage discovery in Liverpool, and the James Herriott All Creatures Great and Small story in the Yorkshire Dales.
There will also be tours around the wonderfully restored Pugin-designed monastery building.
Sign up for Northern Soul newsletter
The Northern Soul Poll
Recent Tweets for @Northern_Soul_
"Melting Point is that rarest of things; a collection that will return to the reader as often as the reader returns to it." Book Review: Melting Point by Baret Magarian northernsoul.me.uk/book-revie… pic.twitter.com/0AwCKlsqIN
@Amy_Fleur_Stone @LaingArtGallery @BBCFOUR Oh, there is so much here. On the surface a poem by Keats but actually Keats was referring/stealing verse much, much older. And then the painter and his muse - she died during the painting. So all the classic themes of Isabella were mirrored in the painter's tragedy.
"Melting Point is that rarest of things; a collection that will return to the reader as often as the reader returns to it." Book Review: Melting Point by Baret Magarian northernsoul.me.uk/book-revie… @saltpublishing @desmondbullen pic.twitter.com/VPvShUR5C6
We love the Laing... twitter.com/DeMorganF/stat…