New Opera Based on Oscar Wilde's THE DUCHESS OF PADUA Comes to the Space Theatre in February

Performances run from Tuesday 20 - Sunday 25 February 2024 followed by a tour.

By: Dec. 07, 2023
New Opera Based on Oscar Wilde's THE DUCHESS OF PADUA Comes to the Space Theatre in February
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A new chamber opera based on Oscar Wilde’s rarely performed second play, The Duchess of Padua, will be presented by The Music Troupe at The Space Theatre in London from Tuesday 20 - Sunday 25 February 2024 followed by a tour to Richmond, North Yorkshire (2 March), Manchester (3 March) and Hungerford (10 March).

Having only been performed twice in the UK before, in 1907 and 2010, this is the first operatic adaptation of the work to be presented in Europe. An intimate Italian-style opera with arias, ensembles, a love-duet, and a death scene, The Duchess of Padua features four voices and a piano duo who together bring Wilde’s epic tragedy of revenge and passion to life.

The Duchess of Padua tells the story of an earnest young man who falls for the oppressed wife of a cruel and coercive Duke and the tragic consequences that follow. Both melodramatic and sentimental this adaptation showcases Wilde’s beautiful verse as it faithfully follows the twists and turns of the extraordinary plot.

With music by Edward Lambert, founder of The Music Troupe who has composed for a wide variety of performers and written 18 chamber operas, The Duchess of Padua is directed by Fleur Snow, currently Staff Director at Theater St Gallen, Switzerland and whose credits include Opera Holland Park and Welsh National Opera, with set design by Melissa Sofoian, who works on cross-cultural collaborations within the MENA and Armenian communities, and lighting by Danny Muir.

The cast for the production includes soprano Ellie Neate in the role of Beatrice, Duchess of Padua. Hailed as a ‘rising star’ by The Guardian, Ellie recently received acclaim for her performance in La Sonnambula at Buxton International Festival. Other recent performances include Daughter 1 in Phillip Glass’ Akhnaten and as Celia in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe both at English National Opera.

She will be joined by mezzo-soprano Anna Elizabeth Cooper as Guido Ferranti. Anna made her Glyndebourne debut in 2023 and recently performed as Olga in Eugene Onegin as an Opera Holland Park Young Artist. She premiered the lead role of Susanna in Joseph Howard’s Behind God’s Back, as part of Tête à Tête festival.

Performing as The Duke of Padua is tenor James Beddoe, who was recently seen in Barefoot Opera’s La Cenerentola as part of Grimeborn at the Arcola Theatre and on tour, and as Count Moranzone is Henry Grant Kerswell, who following his principal debut at Opera Holland Park has performed with companies including the Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera and English Touring Opera and will perform in upcoming productions of La fille du Regiment for Grange Park Opera and Fasolt in Regent Opera’s Ring Cycle.

Founded in 2014 by composer Edward Lambert, The Music Troupe has presented annual productions that feature the art of "Bel Canto" in contemporary chamber operas that are tailored, not trimmed, to create an intimate and accessible experience. Over the last ten years the group has given valuable opportunities to a wide range of over 90 performers and creatives. During lockdown an opera movie, The Last Party on Earth was filmed on location and received its premiere at Close-up Cinema in Shoreditch. Previous productions have been performed at The Cockpit, King's Head Theatre and Kings Place. The Last Siren, in a recent dementia-friendly presentation in association with University of West London, featured in The Big Issue, Sky News, Arts Professional, BBC London and Times Radio.

Alongside the in-person performances at The Space Theatre, The Duchess of Padua will be livestreamed on Thursday 22 February via www.space.org.uk




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