English Touring Opera's new tour features Puccini's Tosca, and Gilbert and Sullivan's satirical Patience
ETO’s touring programme offers a striking contrast this Spring with Puccini’s visceral tragedy set during a period of political terror, and a light comedy by Gilbert and Sullivan, a first for the company. Tosca is classic Puccini: vulnerable outsiders thrown into testing circumstances, pitted against those who have social or political power and winning our admiration and sympathy. And of course there’s a powerful love story.
Overblown romantic love is one of the targets for satire in the Gilbert and Sullivan opera Patience, a witty, infrequently performed little masterpiece about the Aesthetic Movement of the 1880s, with willowy poets, sighing maidens, hearty milkmaids and burly officers galore. Every tune is whistleable, every word worth hearing, and the humour is as fresh as it was at the first performance.
Already premiered and running at the same time, the company is touring a new opera for young people and families created by the team behind Laika the Spacedog and Shackleton’s Cat, composer Russell Hepplewhite, writer Tim Yealland and designer Jude Munden). Silver Electra looks at the riveting story of Amelia Earhart, the most famous woman on the planet when she went missing in her silver Electra aeroplane in 1937. It explores complex family relationships and highlights the role of women pioneers in the twentieth century.
The English Touring Opera Spring tour opens on March 4 at the Hackney Empire, London, with Puccini’s Tosca and continues on March 8 with Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience. The majority of Silver Electra performances are for schools but there are a number of public performances including Snape Maltings on April 1, Wilton’s Music Hall, London on April 4 and the Theatre Royal, Norwich on June 1.