English Touring Opera (ETO) will visit the Churchill Theatre this May when their season of Kings and Queens sees them bring two new productions to Bromley: Verdi’s first Shakespearean masterpiece Macbeth and Rossini’s underperformed Elizabeth I on Wed 8 May.
Both operas will feature a live orchestra and large chorus where flawed leaders attempt to cling to power, preserve peace and calm a rebellious populace. The cast combines internationally celebrated stars and exciting young singers with local talent.
James Dacre (Artistic Director of Royal and Derngate) returns to directing Shakespeare with Macbeth, following his critically-acclaimed 2015 Globe Theatre production of King John. His staging of Macbeth brings its topical relevance into sharp focus, with a modern setting on the border of two warring nations.
Making his ETO debut, Dacre says, “Verdi’s Macbeth has such powerful resonances for today, both in its portrayal of a nation on the brink but also in its intimate depictions of the inner psychological turmoil of our leaders.”
ETO will perform Andrew Porter’s English translation of the libretto, which preserves much of the original Shakespeare.
Appearing alongside the ETO cast will be a local boy from the Bromley area, who will perform a small but pivotal role in Macbeth as Banquo’s son.
Rossini’s Elizabeth I (Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra) on the Wednesday evening (8 May) will show the woman behind the monarch. Rossini’s opera contrasts the private and public spheres of her life, which culminate in a virtuosic showdown between the virgin queen, her councillor, her lover and his wife.
ETO’s new production is the first fully staged professional production of Rossini’s opera Elizabeth I ( Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra ) to tour the UK since 1818.
English Touring Opera: Kings and Queens is on at Churchill Theatre, High Street, Bromley, BR1 1HA Tue 7 – Wed 8 May 2019. Phone: 020 3285 6000
Photos: Richard Hubert Smith