Theatre Royal Plymouth - Welsh National Opera
Welsh National Opera presents a feast of Italian operas from three of the greatest composers from Tuesday 27 - Saturday 31 March at Theatre Royal Plymouth. The season, entitled Rabble Rousers, features a new production of Verdi’s La forza del destino alongside revivals of Puccini’s Tosca and Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
The season opens with La forza del destino directed by WNO Artistic Director David Pountney. The well-known overture sets the scene for this dramatic opera full of twists and turns that sees the heroine Leonora torn between her lover Don Alvaro and allegiance to her family. The performance will be conducted by young British conductor Kerem Hasan (recipient of the Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award 2017).
Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones sings the role of Don Alvaro in La forza del destino, and is joined by soprano Mary Elizabeth Williams as Leonora. Completing the cast are Miklós Sebestyén (Il Marchese Di Calatrava / Padre Guardiano), Luis Cansino (Don Carlo Di Vargas), Justina Gringyte (Preziosilla / Curra), Donald Maxwell (Fra Melitone), Alun Rhys-Jenkins (Mastro Trabuco) and Wyn Pencarreg (Alcade).
Designer Raimund Bauer, Costume Designer Marie-Jeanne Lecca and Lighting Designer Fabrice Kebour join with David Pountney to complete the production team.
John Caird’s 2011 staging of Don Giovanni, with design by John Napier is revived by director Caroline Chaney, with James Southall conducting. Based on the tale of Don Juan, Don Giovanni follows the demise of opera’s legendary seducer as his rogueish womanising catches up with him and he meets his end through a force from beyond the grave. One of the most popular and much-
performed operas, this has everything from murder to lust to comedy, drama and the supernatural.
Irish tenor Gavan Ring makes both his WNO debut and a role debut as Don Giovanni. Elizabeth Watts and David Stout will return following their performances in WNO’s Figaro trilogy in 2016 to sing Donna Elvira and Leporello respectively. The cast is completed by Miklós Sebestyén (Commendatore), Emily Birsan (Donna Anna), Benjamin Hulett (Don Ottavio), Katie Bray (Zerlina) and Gareth Brynmor John (Masetto).
Romance and tragedy are on the menu for WNO’s revival of its production of Tosca in this thrilling story of love, lust, murder and corruption which has become one of the best-loved operas. Featuring beautiful arias including Floria Tosca’s ‘Vissi d’arte’, the story is punctuated with twists and turns from start to its gripping finish. Tosca is directed by Michael Blakemore and conducted by Timothy Burke.
The production will feature a double cast in the roles of Mario Cavaradossi and Floria Tosca; Hector Sandoval and Gwyn Hughes Jones will share the tenor role, with Claire Rutter and Mary Elizabeth Williams sharing the soprano role. Mark S Doss will take the role of the villainous Scarpia, and the cast is completed by Daniel Grice (Cesare Angelotti) and Donald Maxwell (Sacristan).
Talking about the season, David Pountney says: “As you might expect, a season of Rabble Rousers contains a lot of demonstrably noisy people – Preziosilla banging her drum for war, Don Giovanni leading a paean to “La Liberta” and Cavaradossi bursting into vocal flames at the news of Napoleon’s victory at Marengo. The three operas of our spring season bristle with rule breakers, revolutionaries and the enemies of convention – people of unbridled passion whose characters spring out so readily from the pages of an operatic score.”
Tickets are priced between £14.50 - £52.50 and can be booked online at www.theatreroyal.com or by calling the Theatre Royal Plymouth Box Office on 01752 267222. Concessions are available.