|Address:||Carl Rosa Opera|
359 Hackney Road
London E2 8PR
|Tel:||+44 20 7613 0777|
|Fax:||+44 20 7613 0859|
** main contact
|Peter Mulloy||Artistic Director|
|Mig Kimpton**||General Manager|
|Victoria Collier||Development Asst|
|Which Yeomen at the Tower?||Sep 2009|
|Carl Rosa Opera take Gilbert and Sullivan's Yeomen to the Tower of London|
The Yeomen of the Guard, dressed in red and gold, are bodyguards to the Queen; they don't hang out at the Tower of London, despite Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta placing them there. It is the Yeomen Warders, with a rather more sober costume of red and dark blue, who are the keepers of the ravens and the crown jewels. But let us not quibble with the masters of English comic opera or the Tower Festival, which in addition to Kiri te Kanawa, Sadlers Wells Ballet, Nigel Kennedy and Womad has commissioned a special production from G & S specialists Carl Rosa Opera for their two-week festival in September.
Although it is a comedy, The Yeomen of the Guard was the closest that team G & S came to a serious opera. Set in the Tudor period, the tale of a wrongly imprisoned captain, a Yeoman's daughter, the gaoler and some strolling players does not set out, like most of the Savoy operas, to satirise Victorian institutions. There are the traditional intrigues and misunderstandings and a brace of marriages at the end, but all does not end happily for everyone.
The new Carl Rosa Opera production will be performed on the festival stage in the moat area with the Tower walls providing the appropriate surroundings. A 60-strong chorus will support a cast which will include Paul Nicholas, Susan Gorton, Donald Maxwell and Charlotte Church.
The Yeomen of the Guard can be seen at the Tower of London on September 13 and 14.
|Now he is the Ruler of the Queen's Navee||Mar 2009|
|Coronation Street's John Savident joins Carl Rosa Opera for their new production of HMS Pinafore|
Pinafore was Gilbert and Sullivan's first great success and remains one of
their most popular and frequently revived works. A new production by
Carl Rosa Opera sets sail in the spring for a 3 month tour that covers all the
points of the compass from Glasgow to Brighton and from Cheltenham to
John Savident, known to millions as butcher Fred Elliot in
Coronation Street, takes on the role of Sir Joseph Porter, the First
Lord of the Admiralty who is seeking to make the Captain's daughter his
bride. High seas, high dudgeon and high hopes of everything turning out
well abound in this comic opera with Carl Rosa Opera's Artistic Director Peter
Mulloy at the helm. Setting the action in 1805 after the death of Lord
Nelson, the production has a distinct Dickensian flavour, and its design
acknowledges Gilbert's original plan to have Nelson's flagship HMS Victory
represented on stage.
Carl Rosa Opera's new production of HMS
Pinafore opens at Glasgow's Theatre Royal on Tuesday 10
|Electrifying Gilbert and Sullivan||Feb 2008|
|The Carl Rosa Opera Company continue their season at the Gielgud Theatre, London, with two more revitalised Gilbert and Sullivan satires on British social life|
Iolanthe, written for the Savoy Theatre, London in
1882, exploited the fact that the theatre was the first to have electricity
and included head-dresses and magic wands with battery powered stars.
The operetta is a parody of High Victorian romantic drama which sets the Lord
Chancellor and a chorus of Peers in full court dress down in the middle of the
countryside where they become entangled with some aspirational fairies.
Director Peter Mulloy, knowing that Peers still present a highly charged
satirical target, aims for a balance between the original production
intentions (assisted by Gilbert's prompt book) and a contemporary
The Pirates of Penzance with its orphaned pirates
and flat-footed policemen (Jo Brand stars as the Sergeant of Police) is
probably the better known of the two operettas, partly because it has been
successfully presented in the style of American musicals. In fact the
official premiere took place in New York. This was in order to confound
American pirates - part of a plan to prevent unauthorised American companies
from mounting illicit versions - a perennial problem with the highly
successful Gilbert and Sullivan brand. There was however a token
première in Paignton, Devon, to establish British copyright.
Parts of this earlier version, which reveals a lot of interesting additional
material, have been incorporated into the current Carl Rosa production, to
produce a fresh, new version which has won awards, both in the UK and in
America, where the company regularly tours.
The Carl Rosa Opera Company season at London's
Gielgud Theatre includes The Mikado (finishes February 10, before
transferring to Cheltenham. See TRA LA!), Iolanthe (opening 11
February) and The Pirates of Penzance (opening 18 February).
|Tra la!||Jan 2008|
|Two touring productions of The Mikado are as welcome as flowers that bloom in the spring|
January can be a lacklustre month after the extravagances of
Christmas. But touring companies Opera della Luna and the Carl
Rosa Opera Company are determined to invoke Nanki-Poo's promise of roses
and wine and merry sunshine and bring on an early spring with one of Gilbert
and Sullivan's most popular operas.
The Mikado has the most extraordinary of operatic
track records: it was an instant success in 1885, not only filling the Savoy
Theatre in London for nearly two years, but quickly being taken up in Europe
and America. It was revived in 1896 and achieved over a thousand
performances in London alone. It was toured consistently by the D'Oyly
Carte company for over 100 years and since it came out of copyright in 1962
has been liberally reinterpreted, reinvented and imitated on stage and in
Its enduring popularity is partly due to its humour: it was
originally intended to satirise British life but many of its targets -
pomposity, snobbery, the trials and tedium of office, the fallibility of logic
- are universal. The craftsmanship and the approachability of its text
and music have stood the test of time and the Japanese setting offers exotic
design and staging opportunities. The Victorians were fascinated by all
things Japanese: in 1885 London there was a Japanese exhibition in
Knightsbridge which drew huge crowds. Japanese artefacts, vases and jars
were everywhere and Liberty in Regent Street had imported fabulous Japanese
fabrics which made a huge impact on the fashion world. Liberty were
subsequently given the contract to provide the costumes for the first
production. The impact of the riot of colour which suddenly exploded
onto the stage of the Savoy Theatre was undoubtedly part of its immediate
Opera della Luna aim to bring a contemporary slant
setting The Mikado in the zany, flashy world of fashion houses.
With costumes inspired by Versace and Jean-Paul Gautier, it promises a riot of
gorgeous and bizarre creations, stunning gowns and glamour. The
production opens at the Lowry, Salford on January 16 and tours
throughout January and February. See Events Calendar
The look of the original is represented by the Carl Rosa
Opera Company: the production is a historic re-creation of the original
Savoy production. Gilbert's authenticated prompt book has been the
source for the direction, staging, and choreography. With replica
costumes from the Oscar-winning Mike Leigh film Topsy-Turvy and
settings in similar style, it aims to be both period-conscious and of
today. The production, with Alistair McGowan in the title role, opens on
January 30 at the Gielgud Theatre, London for ten performances.