Russian State Opera brings Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Tosca to Hertfordshire
PUBLISHED: 15:12 06 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:00 06 August 2017
Fans of opera and people new to the genre will be spoilt for choice in Hertfordshire next month with two Puccini classics coming to the county.
The highly acclaimed Russian State Opera returns to Hertfordshire in September as part of a UK-wide tour of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Tosca.
Featuring an impressive cast and accompanied by a large live orchestra with over 30 musicians, Madama Butterfly can be seen at Watford Colosseum on Thursday, September 7.
Sung in Italian with English surtitles, Tosca will play at Stevenage’s Gordon Craig Theatre on Monday, September 11.
With music by Giacomo Puccini, the tragic opera returns to the county on Wednesday, September 20 for a performance at The Alban Arena in St Albans.
This tragedy with its breathtaking arias will transport you to the world of romantic Rome, full of drama, passion, love, and betrayal.
Producer Alexej Ignatow, of Amande Concerts Ltd, who has co-ordinated the UK tour, said: “We are constantly on the lookout for new challenges, to ensure that our opera and ballet audiences get a chance to experience a wide spectrum of various classic pieces.
“With extensive national tours that get our productions seen the length and breadth of the country, we are able to offer national audiences in various theatres an unforgettable experience at a fraction of the price, all without sacrificing quality.
“So, it is very close to my heart to continue working with theatres all over the UK to deliver top quality productions every year and make new converts wherever we go.
“No experience is needed to enjoy these classics.
“Our sets and costume designs, as well as the informative programmes, make the productions very accessible and most of all, enjoyable.
“For opera, English surtitles make it easy to follow the story as you listen to the performance sung in its original language.”
For those unfamiliar with the works, Puccini masterpiece Tosca is a melodrama where love and politics collide, and murder takes place at the highest level.
It is one of the most emotionally engaging and popular operas of all time.
The core of the intriguing theme is romance over politics which is relevant even in today’s world.
Originally set in Rome in 1800s, it tells the story of two idealistic lovers, Tosca and Cavaradossi.
Their trust is set to be tested by Scarpia, the ruthless police officer who has no boundaries.
Scarpia has sentenced Cavaradossi to death.
The officer is prepared to let Cavaradossi go if Tosca is willing to spend the night with Scarpia.
A spokeswoman for Amande Concerts added: “If you’ve never tried opera before, you will love this full orchestra experience with brand new settings and fantastic costumes, exquisite singing, and those wonderful tunes that the audience will still be humming to themselves on their way home, making this a must-see opera production for everyone.”
No opera can match the tragedy and sorrow of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
Set in Japan at the turn of the century, Madama Butterfly is among the most colourful and exotic of all operas, and from its theme of noble self-sacrifice spring melodies that grip your heart.
It tells the story of a doomed love affair between an American naval officer and his young Japanese bride, whose self-sacrifice and defiance of her family leads to heartbreak and tragedy.
The premiere of this exquisite production, with its beautiful set and costumes, intensifies the emotion in an already heart-breaking opera.
Sad and tragic, Madama Butterfly features some of the most sublime and beautiful arias in history – One Fine Day and Love Duet, as well as the Humming Chorus, which has been popular with opera-goers for over a century.
Of the company, producer Alexej Ignatow said: “Dedicated to innovation as well as quality, the Russian State Ballet and Opera House has been presenting ballets and operas to huge audiences for over 14 years.
“Unlike many other companies that travel to Europe with ballet and opera productions, we only work with established theatres in the Russian Federation.
“These theatres have many years of experience and, most importantly, they have an established stable of directors and conductors who have graduated from the best artistic institutions in Russia and the former Soviet Union.
“When you see our logo, you can be certain about the quality of the production.”
Alexej added: “Opera and ballet is often thought to be ‘difficult’ and elitist, but this is not so.
“Both forms are timeless and, like any art, they need to be presented in an accessible and attractive way to the audience.
“Therefore, we feel it is so important to present our productions in a classical, traditional style that is familiar to all.”
• Madama Butterfly can be seen at Watford Colosseum on Thursday, September 7 at 7.30pm.
For tickets, call the box office on 01923 571102 or visit the Colosseum website at watfordcolosseum.co.uk
• Tosca plays at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage on Monday, September 11 at 7.30pm.
Call the box office on 01438 363200 of visit the GCT website at www.gordon-craig.co.uk
• Tosca can also be seen at The Alban Arena in St Albans on Wednesday, September 20 at 7.30pm.
Call the box office on 01727 844488 or visit the Arena website at www.alban-arena.co.uk
• Tickets for performances are available at local theatres and further information and tickets are also available at www.amande-concerts.co.uk