English Touring Opera Brings PATIENCE and TOSCA to Marlowe Theatre

English Touring Opera bring their first Gilbert and Sullivan production to The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, next month (May), along with a Puccini favourite.

G&S's Patience was premiered in London at the Opera Comique in April 1881. It moved to the Savoy Theatre in October of the same year and became the first theatrical production to be lit entirely by electric light. The opera offers a satirical take on the Aesthetic movement of the 1870s and 1880s - a popular topic with Victorian theatre audiences, and the focus of a lively industry of parody and caricature in the press.

English Touring Opera (ETO) General Director James Conway said: "Think of original opera in English and you think of the wit and skill of Gilbert and Sullivan. Patience is my favourite G&S, with a brilliant script and a lovely score."

Lauren Zolezzi, as Patience, leads a cast of talented young singers, including Bradley Travis as Bunthorne (Masetto in ETO's 2016 production of Don Giovanni) and Ross Ramgobin as Grosvenor. Timothy Burke conducts ETO's orchestra; director Liam Steel returns to the company after the success of his 2014 production of Britten's Paul Bunyan, part of an Olivier Award-winning season.

Puccini's Tosca was last toured by ETO 11 years ago. This new production marks the opera debut of award-winning stage director Blanche McIntyre, whose most recent productions include Titus Andronicus and The Two Noble Kinsmen (RSC), Noises Off (Nottingham Playhouse), Welcome Home Captain Fox! (Donmar Warehouse), The Oresteia (HOME, Manchester), As You Like It and The Comedy Of Errors (Shakespeare's Globe). Tosca will be sung in Italian with English surtitles.

James Conway said: "I am excited to present Blanche's first opera production. Blanche is a brilliant director, and Tosca is a fantastic opera."

Laura Mitchell and Paula Sides share the role of Tosca; Alexander James Edwards and Samuel Sakker are Cavaradossi, and Craig Smith and Andrew Slater share the role of Scarpia. Michael Rosewell conducts ETO's orchestra; Linbury Prize-winning designer Florence de Maré is responsible for the set and costumes for both this production and Patience.

ETO's Patience is at The Marlowe Theatre at 7.30pm on Friday 12 May; Tosca on Sarturday 13 May. Tickets, priced from £23.25 to £43.25 (concessions available), are from the Box Office on 01227 787787, or marlowetheatre.com.

Photo credit: Richard HuBert Smith

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