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Birmingham Hippodrome to Host PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, PORGY & BESS, & More in 2012/13

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The Birmingham Hippodrome today announced full season information for its forthcoming 2012/13 season, which includes Cape Town Opera's PORGY AND BESS and Cameron Mackintosh's new production of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, THE KING AND I, WONDERFUL TOWN, DIRTY DANCING, SISTER ACT and BLOOD BROTHERS.

"Birmingham Hippodrome’s 2012/13 season features a packed programme of world class productions and international performers, entertaining audiences both on and off stage," said Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive of the Birmingham Hippodrome. "American musicals are a big feature and we are particularly delighted to have been chosen as one of only a few venues to present The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess performed by the acclaimed Cape Town Opera. One of the major highlights for 2013 is Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera with priority booking for Hippodrome Friends opening 8 May."

THEATRE

Birmingham Hippodrome welcomes a host of American classics this spring/summer - a homage to some of the most famous composers and theatre-makers in the history of film and musical theatre.

We proudly present a new Leicester Curve Theatre production of The King and I (1-5 May) starring Ramon Tikaram and Josefina Gabrielle. Regarded as one of the greatest musicals of all time, it features music and lyrics by American duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II including "Shall We Dance", "Hello Young Lovers" and "Getting To Know You".

Connie Fisher stars in a new production of Leonard Bernstein’s multi award-winning musical Wonderful Town (22-26 May). Presented by the unique partnership of Manchester’s Royal Exchange, The Halle Orchestra and The Lowry, Wonderful Town is set in 1930’s New York and features a 40-strong company and magnificent music from the writer of West Side Story.

The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess (6-9 June) performed by South Africa’s globally-renowned Cape Town Opera can be seen in Birmingham for the first time as part of a limited UK tour. Porgy and Bess has emerged as one of the great icons of American music theatre and known around the world as ‘the people’s opera’. It features some of the most stirring and ever-lasting songs including "Summertime", "I Got Plenty of Nuttin"; and "It Ain’t Necessarily So". Birmingham Hippodrome is delighted to be featuring this American classic in the 75th Anniversary year of George Gershwin’s tragic early death.

The American theme continues big style with the smash hit Dirty Dancing opening appropriately enough on 4 July, US Independence Day, and running right through the summer until 25 August. With the 1980s film having been seen by millions across the globe, Dirty Dancing tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny and features breathtaking dancing, with songs including "Hey Baby", "Do You Love Me?" and the heart stopping "I’ve Had The Time Of My Life". Dirty Dancing will be the last production to appear on Birmingham Hippodrome’s 30-year old stage before it is ripped out and replaced in a £1m programme of backstage improvements.

Sister Act (9-20 Oct) completes the Hippodrome’s 2012 season of US musicals. Produced by Whoopi Goldberg and based on the movie of the same name, this fabulous family-friendly feel-good show is packed with songs inspired by Motown, funk, soul and disco written and composed by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.

Direct from his West End triumph, stage star and Wet Wet Wet frontman Marti Pellow will join the cast of Willy Russell’s legendary Blood Brothers for just two weeks only (22 Oct-3 Nov). Marti – seen most recently here in Jekyll & Hyde and in The Witches of Eastwick - will play the role of The Narrator in Bill Kenwright’s acclaimed production.

Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera will be presented at Birmingham Hippodrome in March/April 2013.

DANCE

2012 marks the third International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB). This award-winning city-wide festival, co-produced by Birmingham Hippodrome and its partners DanceXchange, attracts artists and companies from all over the world.

The official opening of IDFB2012 is with Royal Ballet Flanders (25 & 26 April) who perform the groundbreaking William Forsythe ballet Artifact in Birmingham for the first time. Main stage performances also include the dynamic and sensual Danza Contemporanea de Cuba (8 & 9 May). This internationally-renowned company perform the world premiere of Carmen?! by award-winning choreographer and influencer of modern dance Itzik Galili; and the incredible Mambo 3XX1.

Ballet star Sylvie Guillem and dancer/choreographer Russell Maliphant (11 & 12 May) perform at Birmingham Hippodrome for the first time with a mixed programme entitled Push; plus the critically-acclaimed hip hop festival, Breakin’ Covention (14 & 15 May) returns to Birmingham with live performances, DJ’s and MC’s in the foyers combined with International Artists on the main stage including Clash 66 (France & Korea), the double world champions Vagabond Crew (France) plus performances from ILL-Abilities (International).

Lastly, Birmingham Hippodrome welcomes the sensational Circolombia (16-18 May) who perform their gritty production, Urban, fusing electrifying circus, South American hip hop and reggaeton dance www.idfb.co.uk

The Hippodrome’s resident ballet company Birmingham Royal Ballet have a busy year ahead. Highlights include the return of David Bintley’s Far From the Madding Crowd (20-23 Jun) adapted from the famous novel by Thomas Hardy; the return of Sir Peter Wright and Galina Samsova’s production of the timeless Swan Lake (2-6 Oct); and David Bintley’s finest creation to date, the stunning family ballet Cinderella (21 Nov-9 Dec) which signals the start of the Christmas season.
A particularly exciting inclusion is the UK premiere of David Bintley’s Aladdin (15-23 Feb 2013), created for the National Ballet of Japan, with its background in the Arabian Tales of 1001 Nights and links to ancient stories. The 2013 season is completed with Peter Wright’s Coppélia (4-8 June 2013) an ideal ballet for all the family; and Galina Samsova’s and David Bintley’s popular full length production of Giselle (19-22 Jun 2013). Tickets go on general sale for BRB’s 2012/13 season on 12 April (BRB Friends 10 April) on 0844 338 5000.

New for the Hippodrome’s autumn season 2012 is the first ever visit to the UK by Batsheva Ensemble (13 & 14 Nov) as part of a Dance Consortium tour. The younger wing of Israel’s outstanding and world class contemporary dance group Batsheva Dance Company, it is led by choreographic supremo Ohad Naharin. The company will perform their iconic Deca Dance set to a sensational compilation of music ranging from The Beach Boys to Vivaldi and Dean Martin.

OTHER EVENTS

Birmingham Hippodrome is delighted to be producing The Voyage (21-24 Jun nightly at 10pm) a spectacular FREE outdoor event in Birmingham’s Victoria Square. The Voyage is a major cultural project which forms part of the opening weekend of the London 2012 Festival. It’s a global collaboration between Australia’s leading physical theatre and aerial company Legs on the Wall and the UK’s leading outdoor dance company Motionhouse, based in Warwickshire.

A giant ship will be constructed in the square and transformed into a live set for a cast of over 160 who will present high wire, extraordinary aerial acrobatics, massive projections on the Town Hall and song and dance. Audiences over the four days can expect to play a key role in the action starting out as passengers, helping rescue those washed overboard before finally becoming the welcoming party in the newly discovered land. www.thevoyage.co.uk

Birmingham Hippodrome’s Six Summer Saturdays returns this summer for the third year animating the city with outdoor and interactive performances. These FREE events across the city, inspired by London 2012, will run over six Saturday’s (7, 14, 21 Jul & 11, 18, 25 Aug) and will feature a multitude of exciting sights and sounds. Physical theatre and unusual characters will bring the streets to life for families, shoppers, tourists and office staff. Full season announcement will be in June. www.sixsummersaturdays.com

Birmingham Hippodrome is the only venue outside Cardiff where audiences can see all of Welsh National Opera’s full repertoire. The forthcoming 2012/13 season marks the first for new WNO Chief Executive and Artistic Director David Pountney. Highlights include David’s first themed season – Free Spirits - which brings together his new production of Lulu (5 Mar 2013) and his classic production of The Cunning Little Vixen (7 Mar 2013). This is followed by the company’s celebration of the bicentenary of Wagner’s birth featuring the first fully-staged performance in the UK of Wagner Dream, Jonathan Harvey’s fantasy on Wagner’s final days (12 Jun 2013) and unlike anything audiences will have experienced at the opera before. Tickets go on general sale for WNO’s 2012/13 season on 16 April on 0844 338 5000.

BOOKING INFORMATION

Tickets for all shows are available from 0844 338 5000 or www.birminghamhippodrome.com. The groups hotline is 0844 338 7000 and restaurant reservations can be made on 0844 338 9000.

FULL LISTINGS

ROYAL BALLET FLANDERS Wednesday 25 & Thursday 26 April 2012
Artifact Perf Times: Wed & Thu eves 7.30pm
Part of IDFB 2012 Tickets: £21.50 - £32.50

DARA O BRIAIN Friday 27 & Saturday 28 April 2012
Craic Dealer – Live 2012 Perf Times: eves 7.30pm (no support)
Tickets: £21
Sold out returns only

THE KING AND I Tuesday 1 - Saturday 5 May 2012
Starring Ramon Tikaram Perf Times:Tue - Sat eves 7.30pm, Wed & Thurs mat 2pm; Sat mat 2.30pm
Josefina Gabrielle Tickets: £14.50 - £34.50
Captioned perf: Thu 3 May, 7.30pm
Signed perf: Fri 4 May, 7.30pm
Audio Described perf: Sat 5 May, 2.30pm

DANZA CONTEMPORANEA DE CUBA Tuesday 8 & Wednesday 9 May 2012
Part of IDFB 2012 Perf Times: Tue & Wed eves 7.30pm
Tickets: £12.50 - £27

PUSH Fri 11 & Sat 12 May 2012
Sylvie Gulliem and Perf Times: eves 7.30pm
Russell Maliphant Tickets: £18.50 - £38.50
Part of IDFB 2012

BREAKIN’ CONVENTION Monday 14 & Tuesday 15 May 2012
Part of IDFB 2012 Perf Times: eves 7.30pm (doors open 5.30pm)
Tickets: £15 *£9.50 in advance of show date

CIRCOLOMBIA: URBAN Wednesday 16 – Friday 18 May 2012
Part of IDFB 2012 Perf Times: eves 8pm
Tickets: £10 – £20

WONDERFUL TOWN Tuesday 22 – Saturday 26 May 2012
Starring Connie Fisher Perf Times: Tue - Sat eves 7.30pm; Wed mat 2pm; Sat mat 2.30pm
Tickets: £17.50 - £42.50
Captioned perf: Thu 24 May, 7.30pm
Signed perf: Fri 25 May, 7.30pm
Audio Described perf: Sat 26 May, 2.30pm

I DREAMED A DREAM Tuesday 29 May – Saturday 2 June 2012
Featuring Susan Boyle Perf Times: Tue – Sat eves 7.30pm; Wed mat 2pm; Sat mat 2.30pm
Tickets: £15 - £40.50
Audio Described perf: Wed 30 May, 2.30pm
Captioned perf: Thu 31 May, 7.30pm

The Gershwins’ Wednesday 6 – Saturday 9 June 2012
PORGY & BESS Perf Times: Wed – Sat eves 7.30pm; Sat mat 2.00pm
Performed by Cape Town Opera Tickets: £15 - £60
Post show talk Wed 6

WELSH NATIONAL OPERA Wednesday 13 – Friday 15 June 2012
La bohème Perf Times: eves 7.15pm
Tickets: £15.50 - £48
Audio Described perf: Fri 15 June 7.15pm

WELSH NATIONAL OPERA Saturday 16 June 2012
Tristan and Isolde Perf Time: 5pm
Tickets: £20 - £54

THE VOYAGE Thursday 21 – Sunday 24 June
Time: 10pm
Victoria Square
FREE

BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET Wednesday 20 – Saturday 23 June 2012
Far from the Madding Crowd Perf Times: Wed – Sat eves 7.30pm; Thu mat 2pm; Sat mat 2.30pm
Tickets: £15 - £46

BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET Wednesday 27 – Saturday 30 June 2012
Summer Celebration Perf Times: Wed – Sat eves 7.30pm; Thu mat 2pm; Sat mat 2.30pm
Tickets: £15 - £46

DIRTY DANCING Wednesday 4 July – Saturday 25 August 2012
Perf Times: Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm, Fri 6, 13 & 20 Jul 5pm & 8.30pm, Wed 25 Jul and Wed 1, 8, 15 & 22 Aug mats 2pm and Sat mats 2.30pm
Captioned perf: Thu 16 Aug, 7.30pm
Signed perf: Fri 17 Aug, 7.30pm
Audio Described perf: Sat 18 Aug, 2.30pm
Tickets: £20 - £55

SIX SUMMER SATURDAYS Sat 7, 14, 21 Jul & 11, 18, 25 Aug
FREE at locations across the city

BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET Wednesday 26 – Saturday 29 September 2012
Opposites Attract Perf Times: Wed – Sat eves 7.30pm; Thu mat 2pm; Sat mat 2.30pm
Tickets: £15 - £47

BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET Tuesday 2 – Saturday 6 October 2012
Swan Lake Perf Times: Tue – Sat eves 7.30pm; Wed & Fri mats 2pm; Sat mat 2.30pm
Tickets: £15 - £47

SISTER ACT Tuesday 9 – Saturday 20 October 2012
Perf Times: Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm; Wed mat 2pm; Sat mat 2.30pm
Captioned perf: Thu 18 Oct, 7.30pm
Signed perf: Fri 19 Oct, 7.30pm
Audio described perf: Sat 20 Oct, 2.30pm
Tickets: £19.50 - £42.50

BLOOD BROTHERS Monday 22 October - Saturday 3 November 2012
Starring Marti Pellow Perf Times: Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm; Wed mat 2pm; Sat mat 2.30pm
Captioned perf: Thu 1 Nov, 7.30pm
Signed perf: Fri 2 Nov, 7.30pm
Audio described perf: Sat 3 Nov, 2.30pm
Tickets: £16 - £36

WELSH NATIONAL OPERA Wednesday 7 November 2012
Jephtha George Perf Time: 7pm
Tickets: £10 - £30 on sale 16 April

WELSH NATIONAL OPERA Thursday 8 & Saturday 10 November 2012
La bohème Perf Times: 7.15pm
Tickets: £16 - £48 on sale 16 April

WELSH NATIONAL OPERA Friday 9 November 2012
Così fan tutte Perf Time: 7pm
Tickets: £16 - £48 on sale 16 April

KEVIN BRIDGES Sunday 11 November
Perf Time: 8pm
Tickets: £21

BATSHEVA ENSEMBLE Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 November
Perf Times: 7.30pm
Tickets: £15 - £25
Post show talk: Wed 13 Nov

BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET Wednesday 21 November – Sunday 9 December 2012
Cinderella Perf Times: Tue-Sat eves 7.30pm (excl 30 Nov)
Fri 30 Nov 6.30pm; Thurs 22 Nov & Wed mats 2pm
Sat mats 2.30pm; Sun mats 1pm
Tickets: £15 - £47

ROBINSON CRUSOE Saturday 15 December 2012 – Sunday 27 January 2013
& THE CARIBBEAN PIRATES Perf Times and prices vary, enquire when booking. Sunday performances available.

WELSH NATIONAL OPERA Tuesday 5 March 2013
Lulu Perf Time: 7pm
Tickets: £10 - £30 on sale 16 April

WELSH NATIONAL OPERA Wednesday 6, Friday 8 & Sat 9 March 2013
Madam Butterfly Perf Times: 7.15pm
Tickets: £16 - £48 on sale 16 April

WELSH NATIONAL OPERA Thursday 7 March 2013
The Cunning Little Vixen Perf Time: 7.15pm
Tickets: £16 - £48 on sale 16 April

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Arriving March
Friends on sale 8 May
Groups on sale 14 May
General on sale (online) 17 May
General on sale (Phone and Counter) 21 May

WELSH NATIONAL OPERA Thursday 6 & Friday 7 June 2013
Wagner Dream Perf Times: 7.15pm
Tickets: £10 - £30

WELSH NATIONAL OPERA Thursday 13 & Saturday 15 June 2013
Lohengrin Perf Time: 5.30pm
Tickets: £19 - £54

WELSH NATIONAL OPERA Friday 14 June 2013
Madam Butterfly Perf Time: 7.15pm
Tickets: £16 - £48

Photo Credit: Neil Pugh.

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