Today's events all events

Events articles and reviews

Coming Up

A season of French passion by English Touring Opera

From 01/10/2015 at 19:30 to 10/10/2015 at 19:30

Olivier Award-winning opera company English Touring Opera (ETO) returns to London this November with a season of dramatic and passionate French opera.

ETO performs fully-staged and costumed new productions of Massenet’s Werther, Debussy’s Pelléas & Mélisande and Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann at the Britten Theatre of the Royal College of Music from October 1 to October 10.

Werther features a children’s choir from Vauxhall Primary School. Often considered the greatest of Massenet’s many operas, it combines gorgeous melodies, romance and tragedy.

The young poet Werther falls completely in love with Charlotte, who is already engaged. At first she rejects him, and then reading his love letters she realises she feels the same way – but before she can tell him the despondent Werther shoots himself dead.

Pelléas & Mélisande is famous for Debussy’s sensuous and captivating music. Set in a mysterious castle by the sea, it has echoes of Romeo and Juliet in its depiction of doomed romance.

In the story King Golaud brings the young maiden Mélisande home to his castle, where his half-brother Pelléas falls in love with her. The King is violently jealous of the couple, and as Pelléas and Mélisande declare their love openly for the first time Golaud rushes in and kills his brother in a violent rage.

The Tales of Hoffmann treats a set of quirky stories from the works of ETA Hoffmann with a mix of passion and darkly comic humour. The opera’s many catchy and exciting tunes include the Barcarolle, famous from the Oscar-winning film Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella).

The story starts with the penniless writer Hoffmann waiting in a tavern for his latest mistress to arrive. To pass the time he tells the stories of his previous three lovers, who range from an opera diva to a courtesan, and even a mechanical doll whose aria literally unwinds as she sings it.

ETO’s new production is sung in English, and stars Ilona Domnich, who played Mimì in ETO’s La bohème earlier this year, in the role of Stella and the three heroines - one of the most demanding in all of opera.

James Conway, ETO’s General Director, said: ‘We set out to find three of the very best French operas, with compelling dramas that could be especially well told on an intimate scale – and decided on three that are essentially “French”, though they could hardly be more different from each other.’
He added: ‘I think this season has plenty for anyone who likes opera, of course, but also for people who have an interest in different kinds of theatre. Come try these very different masterpieces – you won’t regret it!’

Event's details


Comments are moderated. They are displayed after an administrator validation.


You can reload the captcha by clicking on it