There’s a double bill of opera this weekend – as the English Touring Opera return to York Theatre Royal.
English Touring Opera (ETO) are presenting two contrasting operas this weekend with Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia and Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims.
Each opera is directed by women staging their first productions with ETO and feature period-instrument specialists The Old Street Band – the first time the operas by Donizetti and Rossini have toured in the UK with a period instrument orchestra.
Lucrezia Borgia is at York Theatre Royal on Friday 24 March with Il viaggio a Reims on Saturday 25 March.
Kicking off the opera double bill is Donizetti’s tragedy Lucrezia Borgia – staged for the first time by ETO, in a new production directed by Eloise Lally, making her ETO directorial debut. A thrilling and moving meditation on power and motherhood, Lucrezia Borgia is the tragedy of a complex woman in a dangerous situation.
Paula Sides stars in the title role, with Thomas Elwin as Gennaro, Katie Coventry as Orsini and Aidan Edwards as Alfonso, and ETO music director Gerry Cornelius conducts.
Following that is a new production of Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims – another first for ETO. Intrigue, politics, romance and lost luggage all play their part in Rossini’s last Italian opera, as a group of entitled guests from all over Europe are stranded in a provincial hotel on their way to a great coronation.
Featuring a cast of 27 – one of the largest ever assembled by ETO – the production includes a host of talented young singers including Lucy Hall as Madame Cortese, Luci Briginshaw as Contessa di Folleville, Susanna Hurrell as Corinna and Julian Henao Gonzalez as Conte di Lebenskopf.
Valentina Ceschi, who directed ETO’s online opera The Firebird to great acclaim in 2022, makes her ETO theatrical directorial debut, and ETO artist in association Jonathan Peter Kenny.
Tickets for both shows start at £15 and are available via the York Theatre Royal website.