New Sheffield venue opens with modern version of classic opera

Victoria Grey and Christopher Littlewood in Opera on Locations 2017 production of Carmen
Victoria Grey and Christopher Littlewood in Opera on Locations 2017 production of Carmen

Sheffield’s recently-refurbished Eagle Works in Little Kelham will open its doors to the public for the first time for four nights of fast-paced drama by the city’s only professional opera company, Opera on Location.


Formed in Sheffield in 2013, from a group of young professional singers and producers, Opera on Location are rapidly developing an impressive reputation for captivating performances in unusual locations such as the Winter Garden, Graves Gallery and the Abbeydale Picture House.
This summer audiences can look forward to intimate performances of a well-loved opera which comprises the perfect blend of horror, love and comedy.
Set in 2018, this modern production explores the opera’s themes of wealth, privilege and abuse of power which are as relevant today as they ever have been.
Director Ashley Pearson said: “Don Giovanni is confronted with past indiscretions, current temptations and attempted liaisons in our modern take on Mozart’s darkest opera.
“An opera for the #metoo movement, the show has been updated to a contemporary workplace where Giovanni’s behaviour seems all too familiar. Mozart’s brilliant score propels us through love, lust, jealousy and revenge.”
Don Giovanni exists in a world where he takes what he wants, when he wants, without regard for who he hurts along the way. With power, position and considerable wealth he intimidates and belittles those around him.
Feeling untouchable, the opera begins as Don Giovanni commits the ultimate crime but will his privilege protect him or will his insatiable appetite eventually lead to his downfall?
Following last year’s hugely successful run of Bizet’s Carmen at Kelham Island Museum, producers Gareth Lloyd and Kathryn Gasic said they are excited to be performing in the Eagle Works.
“We are thrilled to have secured a venue which is steeped in local history and especially to be able to hold the first public performance to celebrate the renovation of the steel mill.
“Ashley’s concept really plays to the strengths of the space and brings into focus the reality of these issues in this intimate and exhilarating staging.”
Sung in English, this fully staged production with piano accompaniment aims to show audiences what opera in the 21st century can become.
Opera on Location say that the opera is often incorrectly thought of as outdated, but remains incredibly relevant.
The company have previously performed in lots of unusual venues as part of their ambition to bring opera out of the theatre and into unusual places.
This year’s cast includes Derbyshire born Andrew Randall as Don Giovanni, and Sheffield favourites Gareth Lloyd and Andrea Tweedale. Joining the company for the first time is Sheffield based baritone Alex Vilkaitis.
Don Giovanni will be performed at Eagle Works, Little Kelham, Sheffield from next Wednesday, August 29, to Saturday, September 1.
Tickets are available via SIV tickets: 0114 223 3777, www.sivtickets.com, or in person from the City Hall Box Office.
To find out more about Opera on Location, visit hwww.operaonlocation.co.uk