The Globe's RICHARD II, Royal Opera's OTELLO and More Set for July and August at Fugard Bioscope

The Globe's RICHARD II, Royal Opera's OTELLO and More Set for July and August at Fugard Bioscope
Salzburg Opera Festival's CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA
will be screened at the Fugard Bioscope on 9 July
Photo credit: Andreas J. Hirsch

An exciting winter lineup is on the bill at the Fugard Bioscope this July and August. The programme includes screenings of the best of world theatre, opera and ballet productions from companies such as the National Theatre, Royal Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet and Royal Opera House, to be enjoyed from the comfort of a Fugard Theatre seat. The films are screened in the Fugard's state-of-the-art Bioscope, which features a full-size high definition cinema screen, as well as a 7.1 Dolby Digital, surround sound system.

On 2 July, The Globe Theatre's RICHARD II will be screened. Ruling by divine right, but himself ruled by caprice, King Richard exiles Henry Bolingbroke and seizes his father's vast estates. While Richard is distracted by a rebellion in Ireland, Bolingbroke returns to England, intent on recovering his rightful property and with the support of his disgruntled peers, perhaps seizing the crown itself. Dazzlingly eloquent and ceremonious, RICHARD II invests a weak and self-important man with tragic status and represents William Shakespeare's most searching exploration of the meaning of kingship and the rising powers that can destroy it. RICHARD II is directed by Simon Godwin and features Charles Edwards in the title role.

The Salzburg Opera Festival's production of CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA will screen on 9 July. With two one-act operas on the bill, CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA and PAGLIACCI brought record attendances to the Salzburg Easter Festival, where the production originated. Jonas Kaufmann, in his debut performances as both Turiddu and Canio, was highly acclaimed in these roles, as was the orchestra under the baton of Christian Thielemann.

Next in the lineup, on 6 August, is The Globe Theatre's production of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, directed by Jonathan Munby. In the play, Portia, a wealthy heiress of Belmont, is forced to set her suitors a challenge. The winner will win her hand in marriage; the losers will lose her hand and much more. In Venice, the epicentre of consumption, speculation and debt, Bassanio borrows money from his friend Antonio to finance his attempt. Antonio, in turn, takes out a loan from the moneylender Shylock. The loan will be repaid when Antonio's ships return to the city. But if the ships fail to return, and the money cannot be repaid, Antonio will give to Shylock a pound of his own flesh. And they do fail. And Shylock will have his bond. In some of his most highly-charged scenes, William Shakespeare dramatises the competing claims of tolerance and intolerance, religious law and civil society, justice and mercy. In the character of Shylock, he created one of the most memorable outsiders in all theatre. Double Olivier- and Tony Award-winner Jonathan Pryce plays Shylock in his first appearance at Shakespeare's Globe.

Finally, on 13 August, The Royal Opera House's controversial production of OTELLO will be screened. World-famous tenor Jonas Kaufmann makes his role debut as Otello in Verdi's passionate retelling of Shakespeare's great tragedy of jealousy, deception and murder. Soprano Maria Agresta will be his Desdemona and baritone Ludovic Tezier his nemesis Iago in a new production by Olivier Award-winning director Keith Warner. A major work of the opera repertory, Verdi's OTELLO draws on the full forces of the orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the Royal Opera Chorus and a stellar line-up of principal singers to bring the exquisite duets, emotionally potent solo numbers and thrilling choruses of the score to life. Particular highlights include Otello and Desdemona's rapturous love duet and Desdemona's poignant "Willow Song". Royal Opera Music Director Antonio Pappano conducts this Italian masterpiece.

Screenings take place at The Fugard Bioscope at 11:00. Tickets cost R100 and can be booked online through Computicket, by phone on 0861 915 8000, or in person at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. Bookings can also be made at the Fugard Theatre's box office on 021 461 4554. The Fugard foyer bar is open from 10:00, serving a range of delicious light snacks as well as the finest coffee, wine and drinks.

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