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Fireworks and FunFeb 2018
Rossini provides vocal display, Mozart a comedy and Puccini a punchy double bill: it all makes for a sparkling spring tour from English Touring Opera

ETO’s spring tour opens with a concert of highlights from the operas of which Rossini was most proud, those which contain his most brilliant writing for orchestra, and his most challenging vocal fireworks.  These are his serious works including Otello and the rarely performed La donna del lago, Maometto II, Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra and Ermione.  John Andrews will conduct the full ETO orchestra.

Another kind of fun will be a new production of one of the world’s most popular and compassionate of operas, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.  During the course of one eventful day, Figaro and Susanna must overcome every obstacle put in their way by Count Almaviva and his cronies before they can finally be united as man and wife.  Blanche McIntyre’s production will focus on the social, racial and gender inequalities that exist in modern society, through the lens of a comedy performed by a company led by Ross Ramgobin as Figaro, Rachel Redmond as Susanna and Nadine Benjamin as the Countess.

Puccini’s Il tabarro and Gianni Schicchi were originally designed to be part of Il trittico, his trio of one-act operas each sharing the concealment of a death but played out in very different moods and styles.  The double bill certainly provides a dramatic contrast, Il tabarro being a moody romance set in Paris and ending in a grotesque murder, and Gianni Schicchi a vivacious comedy set in Florence about a family inheritance.  Directed by James Conway and Liam Steel respectively, they were highly praised when first performed by the company in 2011.

The English Touring Opera Spring tour opens at the Hackney Empire, London on February 22 with Rossini: Fireworks! and continues on February 28 with Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.  The double bill of Puccini’s Il tabarro and Gianni Schicchi opens on March 2.