OPERA North’s autumn leg of its 2011-12 season includes a revival of the company’s highly acclaimed staging of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore of some 18 months ago.
The cast is largely the same: Grant Doyle, Hal Cazalet, Richard Burkhard, Amy Freston, Heather Shipp, Anne Marie Owens, Steven Page, and it opens on September 30 with Jo Davies returning to direct it. The conductor is again the much in-demand John Wilson.
A revival of Tim Albery’s 2007 production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, sung in Italian, gets the season under way at the Grand Theatre, Leeds on September 17 with French soprano Anne Sophie Duprels returning in the title role and American tenor Noah Stewart making his UK debut as Pinkerton.
Most interest in the season, however, will focus on a new production of Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades (Pique Dame) in which tenor Jeffrey Lloyd Roberts will be adding another tortured character to his repertoire, that of Hermann.
Star billing, though, is accorded to the production’s Countess, the celebrated Dame Josephine Barstow, who hails from Sheffield, while highly-rated Irish soprano Orla Boylan is Lisa and, following his superb Enrico in Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan in Buxton recently, William Dazeley is Prince Yeletsky.
Richard Farnes is the conductor and acclaimed writer and theatre director Neil Bartlett directs his first full-scale opera, which is sung in English and opens on October 20.