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Opera North returns to Nottingham Theatre Royal with productions of Carmen, Trouble In Tahiti and West Side Story Symphonic Dances



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Opera North has made its long-awaited return to the Theatre Royal in Nottingham.

The season opened yesterday (Wednesday) with its first new production of Carmen in over a decade.

The opera, which is one of the most popular ever written, will performed in Nottingham again on Friday. Friday’s performance will be audio described.

With its themes of femininity, desire, violence and toxic masculinity, Bizet’s passionate masterpiece continues to resonate strongly with audiences today, ensuring it remains one of the most popular operas of all time.

Edward Dick returns to the Company to direct the production following his critically-acclaimed Tosca in 2018.

He said: “Essentially, I want to harness the raw energy of the music, whilst creating a production that makes an audience think about the attitudes that are embedded in the opera.”

Opera North production of Carmen. Photo: Tristram Kenton (53005479)
Opera North production of Carmen. Photo: Tristram Kenton (53005479)

American mezzo-soprano Chrystal E. Williams makes her Opera North debut in the title role alongside American tenor Erin Caves as Don José.

Opera North will also perform a Bernstein double bill of Trouble In Tahiti and West Side Story Symphonic Dances today (Thursday) and Saturday.

The double-bill explores the tensions which can arise in both a relationship and in society at large.

Opera North producton of Trouble In Tahiti. Photo: Richard H. Smith. (53005481)
Opera North producton of Trouble In Tahiti. Photo: Richard H. Smith. (53005481)

Bernstein's one-act opera Trouble In Tahiti puts the American Dream under the spotlight, as the cracks begin to show in Sam and Dinah’s seemingly perfect marriage in 1950s suburbia.

First performed as part of Opera North’s Little Greats season of short operas in 2017, this revival, directed by Matthew Eberhardt, sees baritone Quirijn de Lang returning in the role of Sam, with American mezzo Sandra Piques Eddy joining him as Dinah.

Paired with Trouble In Tahiti is a new co-production of West Side Story Symphonic Dances in collaboration with Phoenix Dance Theatre.

West Side Story is a landmark of musical theatre and Bernstein’s standalone Symphonic Dances extracted from the show are packed with mambos, waltzes and cha-chas.

Conducted by Antony Hermus, Opera North’s principal guest conductor, and choreographed by Phoenix Dance Theatre’s recently appointed artistic director Dane Hurst, Symphonic Dances is an entirely new dance work which responds to these rhythms as dancers navigate the rough edges and walls of city life, exploring conflict and the need to connect.

The double bill will be complemented by a short spoken word performance, Halfway And Beyond, by poet, writer and performer Khadijah Ibrahiim.



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