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generations.

crooked politician, this new production reveals the hypocrisy and heartache behind the glittering façade of parties.

 

Director - Robin Norton-Hale

Orchestrator - Harry Blake

Musical Director - Elspeth Wilkes

Set Designer - Katie Bellman

Costume Designer - Jonathan Lipman

Lighting Designer - Andrew May


"Sensitively and idiomatically rendered... a compelling experience"  THE STAGE

"an inspired updating... the staging and scoring both remind us that La Traviata is fundamentally a very intimate work." TIME OUT

"the kind of detailed acting that few big-name sopranos ever manage." EVENING STANDARD

"another notch in the King's Head list of successes." HAM & HIGH

"a smooth, dynamic production which uses the small space to the fullest... a highly-charged, wonderfully raw, intimate show." BACHTRACK

"arguably OperaUpClose's most intimate production yet... Director Robin Norton-Hale handles opera with intelligent yet gentle honestly."

FRINGE OPERA


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One of the darkest and most romantic of Dickens’ novels, A Tale of Two Cities was adapted for the stage by the dream-team of Terence Rattigan and John Gielgud, and now gets its world premiere in a daring production by King’s Head Theatre artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher.


Retaining the thrill and tension of the French Revolutionary setting but merging it with a modern, East London aesthetic, the production reimagines Dickens’ dangerous and doomed antihero Sydney Carton as a member of the 27 Club (which includes Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse).


The adaptation marries three of the finest artists in their own fields that England has ever known: Dickens the master story-teller, Rattigan the great playwright and Gielgud the mercurial actor.

 Gielgud intended to play both Sidney Carton and a number of other roles, and this production will realise that ambition – and show off the talents of an incredible team of performers - by having thirty characters played by just eight actors.


Director – Adam Speadbury-Maher

Set - Christopher Hone

Costume - Jonathan Lipman

Lighting - Seth Rook Williams


"highly ingenious" THE GUARDIAN

"flair and aplomb aplenty" WHATSONSTAGE

"a thrilling little goblet of theatrical history" THE ARTS DESK

"a most daring, intelligent production" HAM & HIGH

"theatre at the top of its game" ISLINGTON GAZETTE

"sexily sinister take on Dickens' classic" THE UPCOMING


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Two caravans perch on a hilltop in a strawberry field in Kent - one for the men and one for the women. The residents have come from all over the world in search of a better life – and, perhaps, love – in England’s green and pleasant land.


Fresh off the boat from the Ukraine, Irina looks forward to meeting a cultured English gent, and certainly isn’t interested in her unsophisticated compatriot Andriy. But when Russian gangster Vulk decides the best way to romance Irina is to kidnap her, Andriy is forced to set off in search of the girl he really, truly, categorically isn’t in love with.

 

Riffing on Marina Lewycka’s brilliant novel, composer Guy Harries has set Ace McCarron’s hilarious libretto to exuberant Eastern European melodies, creating a warm-hearted and dramatic new opera. At once a hilarious romp of a road trip and keen-eyed social satire, this tale for our times will appeal to fans of comedy, music, romance and living life to the full.


Winner of the Flourish opera writing competition 2012


Music by Guy Harries

Libretto by Ace McCarron

Directed by Vincent Van Den Elshout

Musical Direction by Nicola Rose


"clean and focused... delivered by the five-strong cast with incredible panache. All of them excel, vocally and dramatically" THE STAGE

"I've never enjoyed contemporary opera more... alive in all senses of the word." FRINGE OPERA

"Buzzing with energy, a lively cast offer laughs, thrills, spills... a fun little opera." ONE STOP ARTS

"a delightful evening... a true coup de theatre" REMOTE GOAT


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I ask you, when’s a queen a queen
And when's a queen juist a wummin?


Beautiful, vivacious and intelligent, Mary returns from France at the age of 18 to claim her Scottish crown, and finds a country of treacherous nobles and starving commoners. Meanwhile her English cousin Elizabeth obsesses about Mary’s claim to the English throne, and suitors plot to seduce and tame them both.

 

Exploring the rivalry and mutual fascination between Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I, Liz Lochhead’s play re-tells this murky tale of political and sexual intrigue with ferocious wit and innovation.

 

Considered a modern classic in Scotland, Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off has not been seen in London since the original production toured to the Donmar Warehouse in 1987.


Director: Robin Norton-Hale

Designer: Katie Bellman

Lighting Designer: Brendan Albrey


Lyn Gardner's Theatre Picks THE GUARDIAN
"Raw, rough and sometimes as knottily and Scottishly idiomatic as any flight of Robert Burns... endlessly inventive." WHATSONSTAGE.COM
"This seldom-told tale is highly engaging... the cast is one of the strongest I've seen on the London Fringe." A YOUNGER THEATRE
"flashes of brilliance... sympathetically directed by Robin Norton-Hale.! HAM & HIGH


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APRIL - MAY 2013

Based on the real-life assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden, director Adam Spreadbury-Maher follows up his hugely successful East Berlin Tosca with a version of Verdi’s political thriller set in a famous Swedish homeware store.

 

Verdi’s original Swedish version was considered too politically inflammatory, and so had to be re-written to give the characters Italian identities. OperaUpClose’s production combines the Italian characters with a distinctly Swedish flavour, served up in the unmistakably English setting of an out-of-town shopping centre on the North Circular Road.


Director: Adam Spreadbury-Maher

Musical Director (rehearsals) and new piano version: Luca Tieppo

Associate Musical Director (performances): Ben Woodward

Set Designer: Nina Fransson

Costume Designer: Jonathan Lipman

Lighting Designer: Richard Williamson


"Like all good send-ups, this one works because it's done with real love for the original."

 THE INDEPENDENT
"stunning operatic voices... a joyful experience which should be seen and enjoyed by everyone"

 HAM & HIGH
 FRINGE OPERA
 ENTERTAINMENT FOCUS
 WHAT'S HECUBA TO HIM


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MARCH - APRIL 2013

The World Premiere of Lionel Bart's musical based on Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris

The tragic tale of deformed outsider Quasimodo and the gypsy girl Esmeralda has been told many times, from the earliest silent cinema to a popular Disney cartoon. In the hands of Lionel Bart, it becomes a poignant protest against prejudice and corruption, with all the great tunes and direct emotional impact one would expect from the composer of Oliver!

Director: Robert Chevara
Musical Director: Peter Mitchell
Choreographer: Lee Proud
Set Designer: Christopher Hone
Costume Designer: Jonathan Lipman
Lighting Designer: Seth Rook Williams



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FEBRUARY - MARCH 2013

OperaUpClose presents Donizetti's classic comedy, in a new English version conceived by Valentina Ceschi with a libretto by Thomas Eccleshare, and a new orchestration by John Gibbons


Adina is the hottest star in Hollywood – and Nemorino adores her. When an ambitious army officer makes a very public proposal to Adina, Nemorino is in despair, until Dulcamara, the smooth-talking stylist, comes to his rescue with a remedy which he promises will win Adina once and for all.

 

Donizetti’s warm-hearted opera fizzes with wit, great tunes and a keen-eyed dissection of the way love can confound even the cleverest of us.


Director: Valentina Ceschi

Musical Director: John Gibbons

Set & Costume Designer: Kate Lane

Lighting Designer: Benjamin Polya


 EVENING STANDARD
 THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
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Puccini's Tosca in a new English version by Adam Spreadbury-Maher and a new orchestration by Danyal Dhondy.
 
Tosca is sensual, powerful, and vulnerable. Living in the shadow of the Berlin wall, she is the toast of the GDR elite, until her lover Cavaradossi helps a political prisoner escape, putting Tosca at the mercy of Stasi chief Scarpia.

Director : Adam Spreadbury-Maher
Orchestration : Danyal Dhondy
Musical Director : Elspeth Wilkes


  "A combination of excellent acting, determined sensuality and some extremely talented singing in what is a boldly reset production"
THE LADY
"A small but effective band of piano , cello and clarinet brings just a touch of Weill cabaret to proceedings, appropriate given the context.....Only four singers actually appear in ( Adam Spreadbury-Maher's) cleverly compressed libretto"  
Critics Choice
THE TIMES
"An enjoyable and ,at times gripping production...visceral stuff!"
TIME OUT
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JULY - AUGUST 2012
TRANSFERRED TO THE CHARING CROSS THEATRE FROM
15 AUGUST TO 1 SEPTEMBER 2012
 
The first London revival of Tennessee Williams' autobiographical play about an aspiring young writer.
 

Director: Robert Chevara

Designer: Nicolai Hart-Hansen

Costumes: Jonathan Lipman


Critics' Choice
The Independent 
Critics' Choice
Time Out
"this coming of age tragi-comedy is not without its share of painful insights or laugh-out loud charms. It's these qualities, along with the high level of the acting and a strong, unifying directorial hand that make Robert Chevara's flavoursome production worth seeing." 
The Times
"an inspired interpretation of Tennessee Williams' autobiographical play... the tragedy, the fun and the ecstasy come ringing across - crystal clear."
Ham & High
"one of the hottest tickets on the fringe"
 The Public Reviews 
"The single most enthralling piece of theatre I have ever seen"
West End Wilma
 

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The Guardian

“The disturbing nature of this drama is not simply a result of the cast's convincing performances however, but because Wesker based the narrative on real events… The cast successfully capture Wesker's purpose of writing; that is, in performing the unthinkable and the un-sayable his audience is forced to confront the darkest aspects of society.” 

Whatsonstage.com

“This play is a Masterclass in writing engaging drama and holding an audience… It is a play for those who want to see a very real family put under extraordinary and challenging circumstances, which at times is distressing and painful – and as such it is a great piece of theatre.” 

The Public Reviews

"This is a powerful play, which has been turned down as politically incorrect. But it exposes a truth which needs revealing." 

Ham & High

a clenched, guttural family drama… its London premiere is inexcusably late." 

Time Out

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APRIL - MAY 2012


 A new English version of Bizet's classic opera by Ben Cooper and Rodula Gaitanou.


Gangs and outcasts lead this version of Carmen's drama set in modern day north London. Carmen, an irresistable and bold young woman, becomes the fatal link between law-abiding society and the girtty underworld where she belongs. Featuring Carmen's famous Habanera in which she entices and enrages the men around her, and the Toreador song, Carmen revolutionised the world of opera with it's sensuous, dangerous heroine and candid depiction of criminality.


Directed by Rodula Gaitanou

Musical Direction by Elspeth Wilkes

Designed by Jamie Vartan and Joana Dias

Lighting Design by Simon Corder


"The performance is charged with rough-edged vitality... delivered with energy and panache." The Daily Telegraph

"an hour and a half of seething sexuality" Broadway Baby

"worked exceptionally well... constant excitement and passion throughout." A Younger Theatre

"OperaUpClose has once again succeeded in creating a winning remake of a classic opera." IndieLondon


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The world premiere of a new comedy by David Crook, full of twists and turns that bristles with repartee and unexpected situations, and along the way sheds light on key questions about lying, the truth, and the difficult business of keeping a relationship on the rails.

Jonathan has a chronic lying problem. He can't utter a single true word. He can't even give the real version of his address when he tries to order a minicab. His compulsion wreaks havoc for himself and those around him. Finally his girlfriend offers him an ultimatum - it's either the lies or her - this sets him on a path that leads to a revolution in his relationship and his life.

Directed by Svetlana Dimcovic
Designed by Christian Taylor
Lighting Design by Michael Smith

"... it would be lying to deny The Truth-Teller offers a thoroughly entertaining evening." British Theatre Guide
"David Crook has written a very funny play exploring the world of truth and lies." Ham & High
"a genuinely funny piece with plenty of spark" Islington Gazette


MARCH 2012

(returned for 3 performances in June 2012 following Sam Hallam's

appeal and release from prison)


The world premiere of a new verbatim play by Tess Berry-Hart.


In 2004 Sam Hallam, aged 17, was tried and convicted of murder following an attack in Finsbury by a group of Hoxton youths. But there was no CCTV. No forensics. And Sam denies that he was even there.


With little education and no funds, he was at the mercy of the justice system. The evidence that put him in prison was so deeply flawed that in 2011 the Criminal Cases Review Commission referred Sam's case back to the Court of Appeal. The prosecution's evidence consisted of two unreliable witnesses; one retracted his accusation in court, and the other admitted that when she accused Sam she had just been looking for "somone to blame".


Directed by David Mercatali

Designed by Gregor Donnelly

Lighting Design by Richard Williamson


"A powerfully compelling and convincing verbatim piece."  The Independent

"challenges, changes views and raises awareness... quick-paced and strong" Whatsonstage.com

"I defy you stay unmoved" The Public Reviews

"a splendid ensemble cast... play their roles exceptionally well and with total conviction."  Ham & High

"I did not know much about Sam Hallam's case before watching Someon To Blame but I came out inspired and determined to learn more. Somone To Blame is extremely powerful and thought-provoking and the cast do a fantastic job of taking verbatim statements and transforming them into dramatic speeches that portray character and emotion. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time desperate to find out what happened next. I highly recommend this emotive and passionate play." Brooke Kinsella MBE, anti-knife crime campaigner


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IN REPERTORY - UNTIL NOVEMBER 2011

RETURNED FOR A LIMITED RUN FEBRUARY - MARCH 2012


Charles Court Opera, the 'masters of Gilbert & Sullivan in small spaces' (Camden New Journal) give this all-time favourite a fresh and ambitious re-working, sung by an ensemble of nine singers, with the orchestral score re-arranged and performed by the widely-acclaimed Eaton-Young Piano Duo. This dynamic revival promised to capture the imaginations of G&S virgins and enthusiasts alike.

Directed by John Savournin
Musical Direction by David Eaton
Designed by Gregor Donnelly
Lighting Design by Nic Holdridge


"Such is the energy of the cast, and their attention to both text and music in John Savournin's staging, that the piece comes over with almost reckless gusto." THE GUARDIAN
"Insistently fresh... exquisite." EVENING STANDARD


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A new English version of Puccini's classic opera by Robert Chevara and Kfir Yefet


Minnie runs a dilapidated Soho internet cafe, populated by East European immigrants and targeted by the Albanian underworld. Trusting and innocent, Minnie falls for gang leader 'Vik' Johnson, who is intent on stealing from the villains in her cafe. When his rivals catch up with him, Minnie is forced to play a hand of poker for his life.


Directed by Robert Chevara

Musical direction by John Gibbons

Set design by Nicolai Hart Hansen

Costume design by Jonathan Lipman

Lighting design by Andrew May


'The cast were brilliant... the show had the audience standing at the end and no wonder.' The Public Reviews

'Bold and bizarre as ever... a charming show'  - Evening Standard

'The direction is tight, the language demonic, the designs witty, the acting strong.'  - Independent on Sunday

'Robert Chevara and Kfir Yefet's adaptation is, in the end, just as lovable as Puccini's... Laura Parfitt's terrific Minnie, blazing with conviction and winningly tender.' - The Times

'The overall experience is marvellously uplifting... will melt even the stoniest of hearts' - The Stage

'gritty, fresh and extremely colourful... an outstanding new opera' - Britishtheatreguide

  

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IN REPERTORY - UNTIL AUGUST 2011

RETURNED FOR LIMITED RUN DECEMBER 2011


In March 2011, the world's longest continuously running opera came to the King's Head Theatre for the first time. This affecting new version of Puccini's much-loved weepie was a favourite with critics and audiences alike. One of the most accessible and moving operas ever written, at the heart of Puccini's LA BOHÈME is the human drama of aspiring novelist Rodolfo, who falls for an immigrant cleaner, while his friends struggle to grow up and make ends meet.

WINNER OF THE 2011 LAURENCE OLIVIER AWARD "Best New Opera Production"
WINNER OF THE 2011 Whatsonstage.com AWARD "Best Off-West End Production"
The Times, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Metro,
Sunday Express, Daily Express
Critics' Choice: The Times, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent on Sunday
"Madly brilliant... an updated, zingy translation... a fresh rediscovery." The Times
"This is Puccini without a safety net and it works." Evening Standard
"Opera with the gloves off." Whatsonstage.com
"As pub theatre this is surely the best ever." Daily Express
"Has audiences mesmerised... a huge artistic success." New York Times

WATCH TRAILER


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SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER 2011


The world premiere of an unpublished Oscar Wilde play.


William Daventry, a rich industrialist and self-made man, is married to Constances, the perfect wife: loyal, faithful, and with excellent family credentials. At the Daventry's country house, various members of Constance's extended family, a zealous man of the cloth and his flirtatious wife are assembled for an evening of entertainment - such as is affordable only by the middle classes, a fact deplored by the Duchess of Sandgate and her companion, Sir Richard. An incident between the Reverend's wife abd the industrialist sets in motion a train of events that risk upsetting the moral code of this aristocratic family, driving them from Twickenham to London, to the Tyrolean Alps.


Directed by Mark Urquhart

Set Design by Tessa Battisti

Costume Design by Laura Cordery and Bettina John

Lighting Design by Benjamin Polya


"We know that wilde invented the story... once or twice we do think of Wilde's private pain... Ellie Beaven plays the ingenue Constance sweetly" - The Times

 
"It works, satirising attitudes and mores that still bubble below the surface today... Who knows what Oscar would have made of it all - but the audience's laughter and applause showed their appreciation of an evening full of the kind of wit and repartee that the playbill promised." - Broadway World

“A perfectly entertaining evening... oiled by the frequent amusing observations of Lady Christina... the influence of the playwright [Wilde] is obvious.” - Whatsonstage.com


IN REPERTORY - UNTIL OCTOBER 2011

A brand new opera which questions America’s culpability in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Taking the traditional Romeo and Juliet tragic love story and setting it in contemporary war

torn Arabia, this moving and shocking opera re-evaluates the enduring belief that love

conquers all.

Two young lovers battle with their beliefs and their destiny. Leila, a young poet, determined
to continue the work of her murdered father, fights for justice and truth by joining a suicide
bombing cell. Her lover Daniel fights to save her life and the lives of the innocent people
affected by the bombings.

Composed by Keith Burstein
Libretto by Dic Edwards
Directed by Valentina Ceschi
Designed by Kate Lane
Lighting Design by Benjamin Polya

WATCH TRAILER


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A young Governess becomes convinced that the angelic children in her care are possessed by ghosts. Isolated and naïve, yet determined to save her wards, she finds her grip on reality slipping, with tragic consequences.


Directed by Edward Dick

Musical Direction by David Eaton

Offie-nominated Lighting Design by Richard Howell

Design by Signe Beckmann and video projection by Richard Bleasdale.


 Critic's Choice - "Britten's haunting masterpiece's small-scale orchestration and obsession with the unseen fits OperaUpClose like a glove." Time Out

 "A tightly-controlled and brilliantly thought-through concept that allows us to see and hear a great work in a totally new light... Dick’s modern dress interpretation serves up new ideas right to the end while ratcheting up the tension to an almost unbearable degree...."- Whatsonstage

'Much in this modern-dress production works well... [Katie] Bird impresses both with her dramatic commitment and her highly strung soprano... Catrine Kirkman's glamorous, sophisticated Miss Jessel['s]... scene with her fellow-ghost – David Menezes's dangerously seductive Quint – is superbly realised... The two children... are remarkable' - The Guardian

'Edward Dick's lean, spare production of Britten's The Turn of the Screw sees OperaUpClose shed its shambolic charm for something sharper. The tiny stage of the King's Head, in Islington, is cocooned in white gauze by designer Signe Beckmann, a bare space for the treatment of Katie Bird's disturbed governess, still haunted by the ghosts of Bly House… Laura Casey's spaced-out Mrs Grose is chillingly childlike, while the children – Eleanor Burke and Samuel Woof – ape a warped adulthood in their brittle sophistication, boundless fury and dreadful sadness... Take a seat at the back and shiver.' - Independent on Sunday

'A sleek and impressively sung rendition of a challenging opera... Katie Bird is vocally stunning as the Governess... Musical director David Eaton is not so much an accompanist as he is a one-man orchestra, playing with exceptional flair and passion.' - Exeunt

'Signe Beckmann's elegantly plain white space is transformed by Richard Bleasdale's video projections into fields, marshes and lakes, without ever losing the eerieness of a haunted house and, under Edward Dick's claustrophobic direction, the confinement of a prison cell... Intense and moving, at times almost ovewhelming... quite unlike anything else you will find in London or beyond.' - Broadwayworld.com


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One of the earliest operas ever written was performed at the youngest opera house in London. Monteverdi's tale of the triumphant adultery between Poppea and Roman Emperor Nero gets a radical treatment in Mark Ravenhill's and Alex Silverman's new version, with a new jazz-inspired orchestration, and a world-class cast of singers. Directed by OperaUpClose Associate Director Mark Ravenhill, who makes his directorial debut with the company. Featuring a new aria written by Michael Nyman.

 

"Different tones abound in a production of mongrel vigour." EVENING STANDARD
"Ravenhill strips the story to its core themes: lust, greed and the ruthless pursuit of power."  FINANCIAL TIMES
"Rebecca Caine’s scorned wife Ottavia pulled at the heart-strings... There’s a quirkiness to this opera/jazz hybrid, backed by some seriously first-rate singing, that is invigorating, entertaining but above all accessible." THE PUBLIC REVIEWS
"A marvellous, watchable and engaging production, even greater than the sum of its parts."  FRINGE REVIEW
"[Zoe] Bonner’s refined artistry is matched by that of Rebecca Caine as Ottavia, Jessica Walker as Nero, and Martin Nelson, whose resonant voice and presence...casts a circumambient glow. " THE INDEPENDENT
"Proves perfectly apt for the pub-theatre context... there's a degree of truthful intimacy that registers as both natural and immediate." THE GUARDIAN
"The cult opera of the year." WEST END EXTRA
"Despite its fidelity to Monteverdi's 369-years-old original work, this is a production as contemporary as anything." Broadwayworld.com

 

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE (OR SALISBURY) has been transported to Jane Austen’s England, a world of rich, eligible bachelors, feisty heroines and snobbish relations familiar from much-loved BBC costume dramas. Obsequious Doctor Bartleby has designs on his ward Rosina, but she is far more interested in the attentions of a handsome stranger (actually a womanising Count in disguise). The whole affair is stage-managed by Figaro, the barber who knows everyone’s business and can fix your hair and love life with ease.


"Plucky and purposeful... a farcical romp." THE GUARDIAN
"Norton-Hale's translation skids between centuries, raising a metaphorical little finger one moment, and its middle finger the next... Cosy, goofy fun." THE INDEPENDENT
"Norton-Hale’s staging is excellently judged with a priceless sense for the ridiculous. The opera’s finale is tightly directed and fizzes with a tangible energy... Uproariously funny, thanks partly to Norton-Hale’s irreverent new libretto." THE PUBLIC REVIEWS
"Witty and fluent." Whatsonstage.com
"Fun, fun, fun... you're guaranteed a good time." BROADWAYWORLD.COM

WATCH TRAILER

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IN REPERTORY - UNTIL MAY 2011


Clowns, musicians and dancers are on tour in provincial Europe. Offstage one of the actors suspects his wife of cheating. Onstage he enacts his vengeance. Ruggiero Leoncavallo's opera PAGLIACCI is a dark grotesque tale where the players' personal lives spill onto the stage in this gritty tale of jealousy and murder. In this brand new OperaUpClose production, illusions of romance are stripped away to reveal the brutal, seedy reality of human nature.


Directed by Anna Gregory

Musical Direction by Kelvin Lim

Designed by Buffy Sharpe


"Anna Gregory's punchy modern-dress staging is the company's best production to date." THE INDEPENDENT
"Tremendous, as intense and compelling as any account of this piece I have seen... The accompaniment for clarinet, viola and piano is brilliantly done and executed." SPECTATOR
"A more vivid and immediate version would be hard to imagine than Anna Gregory’s blood-and-thunder production." OPERA NOW
"Much to be praised was Danyal Dhondy's 'orchestration' of the work for piano, cello and clarinet – a nicely coloured combination." THE GUARDIAN
"the King's Head pub theatre in Islington presents its best show yet with Anna Gregory's rough-edged, stripped-naked production." TELEGRAPH
"Director Anna Gregory's production is a joy to behold... an intensity of emotion that is almost palpable.”  BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE
"The audience were transported to another plane emotionally, so that they could easily have been at the Royal Opera House instead of a North London pub." EXTRA! EXTRA!
"A witty and emotive interpretation of Leoncavallo’s opera." THE PUBLIC REVIEWS


  
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IN REPERTORY - UNTIL MAY 2011


Charles Court Opera has been described as the most diverse and fearless small-scale opera company in the UK. They are considered the "masters of G&S in small spaces" (Camden New Journal)and are one of the leading exponents of Gilbert and Sullivan. With a cast of 9 excellent young singers, accompanied by the Eaton-Young Piano Duo, ("Astounding" The Times) this fresh realisation presents comic opera at it's best. Batten down the hatches for this exquisite satire on class and naval incompetence.


Directed by John Savournin

Musical Direction by David Eaton


"Nicely judged and wickedly funny" The Guardian
"Gilbert and Sullivan virgins and life-long Savoy Opera devotees alike can enjoy this breezy, extremely well-sung staging." Time Out  
"The acting is near faultless" The Stage
"Young, fresh and special" Evening Standard
"This is operetta in a shoe-box - and it's absolutely fantastic!" The Londonist


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IN REPERTORY - UNTIL APRIL 2011


MADAM BUTTERFLY is transplanted to present-day Bangkok for this radical reinterpretation of Puccini's masterpiece. This brand-new English translation portrays Pinkerton as an American Airlines pilot and Butterfly as a Thai prostitute. The orchestral score has been delicately arranged for our intimate space with piano, violin and clarinet. Directed by OperaUpClose Artistic Director Adam Spreadbury-Maher, making his opera directing debut for the company.


New English version by Adam Spreadbury-Maher and Ben Cooper

Directed by Adam Spreadbury-Maher

Musical Direction by Elspeth Wilkes


"If all the shows are as effecting as Spreadbury-Maher's direction of this Puccini classic opera-going may never be the same again." ATTITUDE

"Madam Butterfly (or Bangkok Butterfly) goes a step further in chiselling a contemporary edge." THE STAGE

"The evening was a powerful one... [Butterfly] is beautiful and sexy." SPECTATOR

"Up close opera is promised and that's what you get in every sense... viscerally moving, an operatic punch to solar plexus." BROADWAY WORLD

"The story moving and the music beautiful." THE PUBLIC REVIEWS

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IN REPERTORY - UNTIL FEBRUARY 2011

 

The classic fairytale is given a fresh, modern twist in this witty new production. Prince Ramiro falls for Angelina, the one girl who is unimpressed by his wealth and glamour, despite the attempts of her nouveau-riche sisters to turn his head.

Musical director Andrew Macmillan leads a thrilling young cast including Rowan Hellier (fresh from her success as Rosina in OperaUpClose’s The Barber of Seville) as Cinderella, with Christopher Diffey (Rodolfo in OperaUpClose’s La Bohème) and Lawrence Olsworth Peter as Ramiro.


Composed by Rossini

New English version by Tony Britain

Directed by Emma Rivlin

Musical Direction by Andrew Macmillan


"Fizzes and bubbles with rough brilliance" INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
"Cinderella has been given a slick translation by Tony Britten stuffed with references to Waitrose, Ann Summers and Kate Middleton... Sylvie Bedouelle sang the title-role with sweet sincerity, and Tom Bullard and Christopher Diffey did a spirited, personable double act as Dandini and Ramiro."
TELEGRAPH
"This production is fresh, funny and very approachable... Brilliantly supported by the design, the delightfully vulgar sisters, played Sian Cameron and Emily Ward, are decked out in garish colours with a matching hat for every dress they grace the stage with... This is Cinderella with verve, humour and zest. Especially good performances also from Tom Bullard as Dandini and Sylvie Bedouelle as Cinderella." 
REMOTE GOAT
"Director Emma Rivlin makes the most of the space... the charm and energy of the young cast take over... Tom Bullard as Dandini has a pleasing baritone and an excellent sense of comic timing. Emily Ward and Sian Cameron are a glorious pair of bitchy stepsisters." EXPRESS.CO.UK
 

 



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