Opera North Brings its New Season to Newcastle Theatre Royal
Check out our preview of the scintillating shows, which run from 1st–5th November
Opening the season at Newcastle Theatre Royal is a stylish production of La traviata (Tuesday 1st–Thursday 3rd Nov). Set in Belle Époque Paris, the dizzying social whirl of gambling dens and high society parties contrasts with the tender love story of an impossible relationship between a free-spirited courtesan and a wealthy young man.
This is followed by a stripped-back concert performance of Gluck’s 1762 version of the myth, Orfeo ed Euridice (Friday 4th November) that elevates the emotional power of the music and the splendour of the chorus and orchestra.
Overflowing with hope, desire, and the utter agony of heartbreak, this pioneering masterpiece cuts straight to the heart in a timeless love story of a grieving widower. Orfeo is on a mission through the underworld of Hades to rescue his love Euridice. But there’s a catch: he must not look back or speak to her, or he’ll lose her for all eternity.
Orpheus (Saturday 5th November), a reimagining of one of the earliest surviving operas, Monteverdi’s 1607 work L’Orfeo, weaves a new musical and dramatic tapestry from western and Indian classical music. The new version will feature additional composition and arrangements by Jasdeep Singh Degun, working as co-Music Director with early music expert Laurence Cummings. The opera will be sung in Italian and Urdu, with additional sections sung in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Punjabi and Bengali. There will be English titles at all performances.
Some passages of the opera are being rescored and arranged for Indian classical instruments including the sitar, tabla and tar shehnai, in addition to western baroque instruments such as harpsichord, theorbo and lirone.
The opera takes place on the day of the wedding of Orpheus, a musician of mythical power, to Eurydice. But their joy is shattered when Eurydice dies suddenly, and Orpheus, heartbroken, vows to travel to the underworld to find his new wife and return her to life.