Set in Paris in the 1830s among a group of impoverished Bohemians, the opera centres around the tragic love affair between the seamstress, Mimi, and Rodolfo, a poet. Frivolity, joy, tenderness and sorrow are all expressed in the wonderful music of this most treasured of operas. La Bohème is a masterpiece and is undoubtedly Puccini’s finest score.
This production and cast are sensational and bring out the real heart of Puccini’s magnificent score.
It has all the ingredients of a classic piece of 18th century literature - passion, lust, betrayal, deception and ultimate forgiveness.
Yet the action takes place in just 24 hours and is liberally sprinkled with sparkling, farcical humour.
Welcome to The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart's "perfect" opera with libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte.
With a professional cast of top-class performers, lavish costumes and period sets, the production promises first-rate quality at prices that are a fraction of Covent Garden
International baritone Nicholas Morris plays Count Almaviva, the over amorous villain of the piece who's determined to upset the marriage plans of his two servants Figaro and Susanna with his "droit de seigneur" designs on the young girl.
Figaro Ian Beadle, for his part, is desired by Marcellina (played by International mezzo soprano Ann Mason who has also played the role at The Royal Opera house Covent Garden, to whom he owes a substantial debt. Marcellina plots to force Figaro to marry her as a forfeit for non-payment.
Her plan looks as if it will succeed until it is revealed, incredibly, that Figaro is in fact Marcellina's long-lost son!
Meanwhile, Susanna (soprano Stephanie Bodsworth) hatches a counter-plot with the Count's wife (soprano Elinor Rolfe-Johnson), herself coveted by the amorous page-boy Cherubino(Anna Huntley), to foil the Count's plans to seduce Susanna and expose his adulterous intentions.
Susanna agrees to a night-time rendezvous with the Count but it will in fact be the Countess who is to meet and confront her husband.
Disaster almost ensues when Figaro stumbles upon what he believes to be Susanna and the Count locked in an embrace and is beside himself with rage. However he learns the truth just in time and the humbled, humiliated Count is forced to beg his wife for forgiveness.
Under the direction of Bronek Pomorski and with Robert Bottriell as musical director, opera fans -- and newcomers to the classical entertainment -- are in for a real treat with this traditional production.
Completing the cast are International tenor Cameron Rolls as Basilio and Curzio, and Geoffrey Moses Covent Garden soloist(bass) as Bartolo and Antonio.