FANCY something a bit different to brighten the long, dark evenings of winter?
Ever since the Regal started screening live operas and ballets from such illustrious venues as New York’s Met and London’s Covent Garden they have become increasingly popular, so much so that new shows are often sold out as soon as they are announced.
The recently-launched NT Live strand, in which theatre is broadcast direct from the National in London to a screen in Henley, is even more popular. Already this season, Coriolanus and War Horse have sold out. However, there are still some tickets left for a few of the events.
The great American soprano Renée Fleming sings one of her signature roles in Dvorak’s opera, Rusalka, on Saturday, February 8. The fairy tale opera tells the story of Rusalka, the water-goblin’s daughter, who falls in love with a human Prince. She tells her father she wants to become human so that she can be with him, and sings her famous Song To The Moon. A witch agrees to help her, with the proviso that in becoming human she will lose her power of speech. This Met Opera production co-stars tenor Piotr Beczala as the Prince.
A live version of Mozart’s great opera Don Giovanni is broadcast from the Royal Opera House in London on Wednesday, February 12. Director Kasper Holten’s take on the classic lothario story casts the protagonist in a darker place, and focuses on his womanising as an attempt to stave off his own mortality.
Ballet lovers have a chance to see Sir Peter Wright’s production of Giselle, the story of a peasant girl who dies of a broken heart after discovering her lover is betrothed to another. The Wilis, a group of supernatural women who dance men to death, summon Giselle from her grave. It plays at the Regal Picturehouse on Monday, January 27.