Opera Appreciation

A chance to view a full range of operas, (including those not normally available locally) from the best opera houses around the world. All are Welcome. If you are not already a member of the group, come along anyway to see and hear what you are missing.

Scout and Guide HQ
3rd Wednesday of the month
1.00 pm for 1.15 pm prompt start
  • Leader: Michael Lomax - 01695 573411
  • Coordinators:
    • Beverley & Iris Kelly - 01704 872412

Please arrive by 1.00pm so that we can have a prompt start. If you arrive late, you are still welcome but  we will have started. So please sort yourselves out quietly.

The prompt and early start allows us to show full performance of the longer operas. These are shown on the large-screen with a great picture and sound.

Cost; Just £2 per meeting.

Last Updated on January 14, 2024

2024 Operas

Wednesday 19th June 2024 at 1.00pm

Rigoletto – Guiseppe Verdi

Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the 1832 play Le roi s’amuse by Victor Hugo. Despite serious initial problems with the Austrian censors who had control over northern Italian theatres at the time, the opera had a triumphant premiere at La Fenice in Venice on 11 March 1851.

“A brilliant performance despite it taking place as long ago as
1977. A comparatively young Placido Domingo sang the duke
as well as any I’ve heard and I also thought the Rigoletto was
the best I’d seen and Ileana Cotrubas a very good Gilda even
though she looked a bit more than 18.”

Synopsis click here:-

Wednesday 15th May 2024 at 1.00pm

Nabucco – Guiseppe Verdi

The success of Verdi’s third opera, a stirring drama about the
fall of ancient Jerusalem at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar
(Nabucco), catapulted the 28-year-old composer to
international fame. The music and Verdi himself were
subsumed into a surge of patriotic fervor culminating in the
foundation of the modern nation of Italy. Specifically, the
Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves (“Va, pensiero”), in which the
Israelites express their longing for their homeland, came to
stand for the country’s aspirations for unity and that exciting era
in Italian history, the Risorgimento, or “Resurgence.”


Synopsis here:


Wednesday 17th April 2024 at 1.00pm


Merry Widow Cover


Lotfi Mansouri’s spectacular last production as General Director of The San Francisco Opera with Yvonne Kenny making her debut in the title role, new dialogue specially commissioned from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Wendy Wasserstein and an original ballet to set the scene Chez Maxime bringing fresh insight into Lehár’s classic operetta.

“Recorded live in San Fransisco in December 2001, this is about as lavish a production of Franz Lehár’s adorable operetta as you are ever likely to see…soprano Yvonne Kenny is perfectly cast in the title role.”              (Classic FM)

Synopsis Here

Wednesday 20th March 2024 at 1.00pm

TANNHÄUSER – Richard Wagner

Tannhauser cover picture

from the Bayreuth Festival


You may think that all operas composed by Wilhelm Richard Wagner are difficult and are long. But, this opera, “Tannhauser,” is one of the easiest operas of Wagner’s. You can understand that music and story. Wagner often deals with some issues such as love, death, salvation in his operas. You can also understand these general ideas of Wagner’s.

The music in this opera is easy, and you may know some famous melodies. This opera’s overture especially consists of many kinds of motif in this opera. If you listen to the overture many times, you can understand Wagner’s music more easily.

Synopsis click here;-

Wednesday 21st Febuary 2024 at 1.00pm

Turandot  – Puccini.  with Marton, Domingo, Mitchell

TurandotMetropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra directed by Franco Zeffirelli

Franco Zeffirelli’s sumptuous production of Puccini’s final opera has been a Met favourite ever since its 1987 premiere run, captured in this telecast. James Levine brings out all the color and drama of the composer’s most ambitious score, leading a stellar cast:

Plácido Domingo is Calàf, the unknown prince, Eva Marton sings the title role of the icy princess, Leona Mitchell is Liù, the innocent slave girl, and Paul Plishka plays Timur, Calàf’s father. Veteran tenor Hugues Cuénod, at 85, sings the ancient Emperor Altoum, in his Met debut.


Synopsis here:

Wednesday 17th January 2024 at 1.00pm

IOLANTHE – Gilbert and Sullivan 

or The Peer and the Peri 

is a comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert, first performed in 1882. It is one of the Savoy operas and is the seventh of fourteen operatic collaborations by Gilbert and Sullivan. In the opera, the fairy Iolanthe has been banished from fairyland because she married a mortal; this is forbidden by fairy law. Her son, Strephon, is an Arcadian shepherd who wants to marry Phyllis, a Ward of Chancery. All the members of the House of Peers also want to marry Phyllis. When Phyllis sees Strephon hugging a young woman (not knowing that it is his mother – immortal fairies all appear young), she assumes the worst and sets off a climactic confrontation between the peers and the fairies. The opera satirises many aspects of British government, law and society. The confrontation between the fairies and the peers is a version of one of Gilbert’s favourite themes: a tranquil civilisation of women is disrupted by a male-dominated world through the discovery of mortal love.








Last Updated on June 10, 2024

Year 2023 Operas

Wednesday 20th December 2023 at 1.00pm

Cinderella by Alma Deutscher

Performed by the Opera San Jose in 2017

Cinderella by Alma Deutscher

In this engaging version of the fairytale, Cinderella’s father is manager of a ‘little opera house at the edge of town’ who, after the death of his wife, marries an ‘ageing prima donna’. When he dies, Cinderella’s stepmother takes over the opera house and turns Cinders (Vanessa Becerra) into a copyist slave: despite her skills, she is not allowed to write her own music and her compositions are confined to her mind (beautifully performed on violin and piano by Deutscher, off stage). The shoe-fitting scene is replaced with the prince asking potential brides to set one of his poems to music; Cinders’s stepsisters steal her work and present it at the singing competition as their own. Our heroine eventually sings her song to the prince, and the pair are united.

About Alma

“She may be one of the most gifted musical talents of her generation, lauded by Zubin Mehta and Simon Rattle, but she is also a teenager testing the bounds of her freedom and pushing back against expectations.   In Ms Deutscher’s case, this means defying her critics over her insistence that “music should be beautiful.” New York Times, June 2019

Alma Deutscher, born 2005, is a composer, violinist, pianist and conductor. She started playing the piano when she was two years old and the violin when she was three. At six, she composed her first piano sonata, and at nine a concerto for violin and orchestra. Conductor Zubin Mehta called her “one of the greatest musical talents today”. Sir Simon Rattle told the BBC: “Alma is a force of nature. I don’t know that I’ve come across anyone of that age with quite such an astonishing range of gifts. I haven’t really seen anything like it.” Composer Jörg Widmann said he had never met a talent like hers before. And violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter declared it was “absolutely extraordinary what this young girl has managed to achieve.”

Come along and see and hear the amazing opera that this young British composer has produced, written between the ages of 8-12yrs!

Synopsis Here:

Wednesday 15th November 2023 at 1.00pm

La Boheme – Puccini

La Boheme from the Met

Puccini’s evergreen paean to young love and the bohemian life has captivated generations of Met-goers through Franco Zeffirelli’s iconic production. Movie theatre audiences got to see it with fresh eyes in a touching performance starring Angela Gheorghiu and Ramón Vargas as the frail seamstress and her poetic lover.

Giacomo Puccini has been described as “the greatest composer of Italian opera after Verdi”, and his operas are some of the most popular and frequently-performed of all time, including Tosca, La bohème, Madama Butterfly and Turandot. He is known for his astonishing gift for melody, matched by a strong theatrical sense and rich harmonisation

Synopsis Here;

Wednesday 18th October 2023 at 1.00pm

Eugene Onegin – Tchaikovsky

Met Opera Production

Eugene Onegin is among the most popular Russian operas and I really enjoyed this production. Sets and costumes are beautiful and they give a feeling of autumn that fits the opera. Renee Fleming I mostly know as Desdemona and Violetta .Here as Tatyana she gives us both naive and romantic young Tatyana and in Act 3 when Tatyana is married,great maturity. Dmitri Hvorostovsky is truly great as Onegin in both his acting as a bored and arrogant young aristocrat and in the big final duet with Tatyana and in his voice. Ramon Vargas as Lensky did a truly great job with the big aria Lensky sings .I knew him as Alfredo and Rodolfo,and now as Lensky he managed to get me emotional. The rest of the cast also does an amazing job. Overall,amazing Eugene Onegin.


Synopsis – Click here


Wednesday 20th September 2023 at 1.00pm


Madam Butterfly Puccini

Visually authentic and musically very good

This is the most authentically Japanese stage production of Madam Butterfly which is available. It was filmed at La Scala, Milan in 1986 and stars the Japanese soprano Yasuko Hayashi as Madam Butterfly. The production was staged by the Japanese director Keita Asari and the set, costumes and lighting were all designed by Japanese experts. Suzuki is played by the Korean mezzo-soprano Hak-Nam Kim. The result is highly successful and the most visually authentic presentation of one of Puccini’s greatest masterpieces.

Wednesday 16th August 2023 at 1.00pm

IOLANTHE – Gilbert and Sullivan  – Regretfully Cancelled

or The Peer and the Peri 

is a comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert, first performed in 1882. It is one of the Savoy operas and is the seventh of fourteen operatic collaborations by Gilbert and Sullivan. In the opera, the fairy Iolanthe has been banished from fairyland because she married a mortal; this is forbidden by fairy law. Her son, Strephon, is an Arcadian shepherd who wants to marry Phyllis, a Ward of Chancery. All the members of the House of Peers also want to marry Phyllis. When Phyllis sees Strephon hugging a young woman (not knowing that it is his mother – immortal fairies all appear young), she assumes the worst and sets off a climactic confrontation between the peers and the fairies. The opera satirises many aspects of British government, law and society. The confrontation between the fairies and the peers is a version of one of Gilbert’s favourite themes: a tranquil civilisation of women is disrupted by a male-dominated world through the discovery of mortal love.


Wednesday 19th July 2023 at 1.00pm

THE MIKADO – Gilbert and Sullivan

In the Japanese town of Titipu, the citizens are tired of the constant round of executions taking place for even minor offences. They appoint as Lord High Executioner the next prisoner on Death Row, one Ko-Ko, a tailor, on the supposition that he cannot execute anyone as he is himself first in the queue.

Nanki-Poo, the emperor’s son, flees from the Court to escape the attentions of Katisha, who wishes to marry him. Disguised as a minstrel, he arrives in Titipu, where he falls for Yum-Yum, one of a trio of sisters who are schoolgirls and wards of Ko-Ko. When Katisha traces him to the town she is prevented from exposing his identity, and claiming him. She retreats to fetch the Mikado, who is already on his way, concerned at the absence of regular executions in the town.

When the Mikado arrives, he is told that an execution has been carried out. Unfortunately he discovers the supposed victim to be Nanki-Poo, and the penalties for killing a royal heir are serious. The only solution is for Ko-Ko to marry Katisha, thus leaving the way free for Nanki-Poo to come out of hiding and marry Yum-Yum.

Synopsis – click here

Wednesday 21st June 2023 at 1.00pm

Le Comte Ory  –  Rossini

Imagine a picturesque medieval country where most of the men have gone off to fight in the crusades several thousand miles away. Among the few  who have remained behind is a young noble man intent on seducing as many women as he can. His eye is on one virtuois countess in particular, he disguises himself and takes up residence outside her castle to plot his next move. When his cover is blown, he boldly decides to make another attempt at conquest by dressing up as ….a nun



Synopsis; Click Here;

Wednesday 19th April 2023 at 1.00pm

Manon cover picture

MANON – Massenet

Natalie Dessay

Rolando Villazon

Natalie Dessay embodies the character of Manon remarkably, even within this
framework. With the girlishness never exaggerated, each movement seemingly
spontaneous (about how many opera singers can that be said?), her love for Des
Grieux sincere, her sadness in her Adieu absolutely believable, there seems to be
no artifice. (By the end of the aria, shes curled in the fetal position on top of the
table.) She turns coloratura into perfect peals of laughter absolutely organically in
the first act; her Cours de la Reine scene is vocally properly dazzling.

Click Here;

Wednesday 19th April 2023 at 1.00pm


by W S Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

The seaside village of Rederring, the local Castle and the Baronetcy of Ruddigore are under a curse – the Baronet must perform one crime each day or die in hideous torment.  This is enforced by the ghostly gallery of portraits representing his ancestors back to the original recipient of the Curse.



Synopsis Here;

Wednesday 15th March 2023 at 1.00pm




Three glorious one-act operas for the price of one!

Puccini’s idea of presenting three short operas in one evening led to the creation of his Il Trittico, or Triptych, which premiered in 1918. The tripartite structure, however, quickly fragmented, with the comic Gianni Schicchi becoming instantly popular while the emotional thriller Il Tabarro (The Cloak) and the intense personal tragedy of Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica) tended to fall by the wayside.

In recent times, though, increased attention has been paid to the work as the composer intended it to be performed.

Il Trittico Review – Three Operas for the Price of One
Posted on February 11, 2012 by philip
On Sunday, February 5, 2012, and again on Tuesday I saw my second complete Il Trittico and I was reinforced in two of my opinions.  One, that Puccini’s three one-acts are even better taken as a whole, and two, that an ROH production with Conductor Antonio Pappano and Stage Director Richard Jones will be first rate.

I’ll be honest with you.  Taken by itself, I don’t really like Il Tabarro.  I’m sure that it is verismo to the nth degree in its depiction of life on a canal boat in the Seine – but that’s not my own personal verismo.  That being said, Trittico Uno is a perfect gem.  The story is not pretty, the characters are not pretty, the music is not pretty.  But each of story, characters, and music matches the other parts perfectly, and the whole builds to its grisly end with mounting tension.  All of this is perfectly captured by Pappano and Jones and singers Lucio Gallo, Eva-Maria Westbroek, and Aleksandrs Antonenko.

Captain Michelle (Lucio Gallo) forces his wife Giorgetta (Eva-Maria Westbroek) down onto the dead body of her lover Luigi (Aleksandrs Antonenko)
The curtain comes down, and I can breathe again.  But only briefly because there is no intermission between the first two parts.  The curtain goes up and my first reaction is kudos to D. M. Wood, lighting designer.  All of Il Tabarro was played in semidarkness which emphasized the darkness of the story – and suddenly the stage is brilliantly lit; the contrast almost hurts the eyes.

In all previous productions of Suor Angelica that I have seen, the setting has been an outdoor area of a convent.  Which works fine.  But Jones has set his scene in the children’s ward of a nun’s hospital. Various activities are going on and from time to time it focuses on a particular nun seated on a lab stool and grinding herbs with a mortar and pestle.  And whenever the conversation or action refers to young children or joining the convent or on desire, this nun’s face tightens in misery and her herb-grinding is energized with a repressed vicious energy.

This nun is, of course Sister Angelica, and she is showing us clearly and uncontrollably that she longs for her son – the illegitimate baby she bore seven years ago and has neither seen, heard from, or had news of since he was torn away from her minutes after his birth.  For Angelica was the elder daughter of a prince and the son’s father was a mere commoner; the conception was a bitter disgrace for the whole family.  The instant the infant was born the mother was whisked away to a convent, never to be spoken of or spoken to again.

I have never, ever, seen an opera singer who so completely lived a fictional character as Ermonela Jaho lived Sister Angelica.  The opening scene described above was just the start.  A bit later, Angelica’s aunt, the Princess (Anna Larsson) visits to demand that Angelica sign away her financial birth-right in favor of her younger sister.  Angelica has no objection to doing that; in fact for a moment she forgets her own grief and rejoices over the fact that her little sister is getting married.  But first, “Tell me of my son.”  Auntie demurs: “You’re here to atone for your sin, not to grieve.”  This enrages Angelica: “I’ve happily given everything I possess to the Virgin Mary, but I cannot give her the love and yearning I feel towards my son.”  Even though she is less than half as old as the Princess and not much more than half as tall, she lights into her relative with all the fury of a tigress defending her cubs.  Her aunt replies without showing much feeling one way or another, “Two years ago he became very ill.  We did everything we could to save him, but . . . ” Angelica gasps, “My son is dead!” and falls to the floor in a faint.

Left alone after the signing, Angelica in her faith believes that her son is now an angel in heaven and that he is listening to her every word.  She sings how she has loved him and how she longs for the day that she can quit this earth and join him in heaven.  “Send me a sign,” she pleads.  “Write it in the stars.”

She believes she has received his message and that it said, “Do it now.  You have the herbs and the knowledge.  Join me today.”  She rushes to her lab bench in the ward, pours some pills from one bottle, drips a few drops from a vial on each pill, and pops them one after another, each with a grimace and a swallow of water.  All with a beatific smile on her face as she sings farewell to her fellow nuns “on my way to join my son in paradise.”

Suddenly she stops.  Her face freezes.  Slowly the radiant smile fades into sobriety, then to fear, to terror.  She realizes she has just taken her own life – the worst possible sin.  She is not on her way to heaven and reunion with her son, but is doomed to eternal damnation.  “Forgive me Holy Virgin.  Mother of all mothers, forgive me.”

Angelica’s faith was totally convincing.  Tears were running down my cheeks.  I was right there with her, pleading her cause.

The curtain falls to thunderous applause.  But the drama is not over.  The stage is still in total darkness.  A single spot picks up a female figure in the wings and moves with her to center stage.  One would expect the figure to be Ermonela Jaho taking her well-deserved initial bows for a superlative performance – one would be wrong.  Angelica is there – not Ermonela.  Her body is still heaving with emotion.  In the past few minutes she has learned that her son is dead, she has taken poison so she can join him in heaven, she has realized that she will go to hell instead, she has pleaded for forgiveness but has died without knowing if her plea was granted.

On to Gianni Schicchi.  But first, honesty impels me to point out one major thing about Suor Angelica that I did not like.  In all other productions I have seen, directors have used various details to make it crystal-clear that the end is joyful.  Forgiveness has been granted.  Richard Jones wants us to think about it.  There is no celestial light from above – there are no shooting flames from below.  Angelica has realized her sin; she has made her plea to the Virgin Mary; she has died.

On to Gianni Schicchi.  No more taut emotions.  Farewell to fear and sorrow.  Farewell to spirituality.  Time to relax and give those laugh muscles some exercise.  The plot is simple as could be.  Buoso Donati dies of old age in the first minute of the opera, surrounded by a bunch of relatives eagerly looking forward to their inheritances.  But his will leaves every penny of his considerable wealth to a monastery.  Relatives don’t like this idea and plot with the equally scoundrelly but more intelligent and much more likeable Gianni Schicchi to replace that will with one more favorable to them.

Lucio Gallo (we saw him earlier as Michele in Il Tabarro) stars in the title role with wonderful casting for the motley crew of relatives.  Of special note are the two eldest cousins Simone (Gwynne Howell) and Zita (Elena Zilio).  Love interest and some lovely singing are provided by the delightfully young Rinuccio (Francesco Demuro), the only non-venal relative and Schicchi’s daughter Lauretta (Ekaterina Siurina).  Puccini’s music is delightfully light-hearted and . . .but that’s enough.  This opera is to be seen and heard, not to be written about it.  Go, if you get a chance.


Synopsis of all three operas here;

Wednesday 15th February 2023 at 1.00pm

Maria Stuarda – Donizetti     (Met Opera)

Maria Stuarda Cover

Late 16th century. Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, has been forced to abdicate her throne and flee her kingdom after the rebellion of her Scottish nobles. A Catholic, crowned at the age of nine months, she was betrothed to the Dauphin of France and raised from childhood at the French court. At 18, she returned to her native land, following the sudden death of her husband Francis II, having reigned as Queen of France for little more than a year. Unable to exert control over her Protestant nobility and beset by insurrections, plots, and murders, she has sought asylum in England from her cousin, Queen Elizabeth.

But her presence in Protestant England is untenable to Elizabeth and her advisors. As a descendant of the Tudor line, the English Catholics see Mary as the rightful heir to Henry VIII’s crown (Elizabeth having been declared illegitimate following the execution for adultery of her mother, Anne Boleyn). An English inquiry into the scandalous murder of Mary’s dissolute second husband, Henry, Lord Darnley, has proved inconclusive as to her complicity in the crime but has served as a pretext to keep the former Queen of Scotland imprisoned for many years.

Synopsis Here;

Wednesday 18th January at 1.00pm

Manon Lescaut   –   Puccini      (Royal Opera House)

Manon Lescaught

“From the moment Kaufmann and Opolais embark – with infinite delicacy – on their emotional journey, it becomes clear that this is a vocal marriage made in heaven. His warmly burnished sound is balanced by the exquisitely-nuanced purity of hers, and they are supported by a performance in the pit, under Antonio Pappano, of rare refinement.” – THE INDEPENDENT

When Manon meets the young student Des Grieux they fall in love. They elope – but when the elderly Geronte offers Manon a life of wealth and luxury, her head is turned.

Manon cannot forget Des Grieux. Des Grieux attempts to flee with her, but before they can escape, Geronte has Manon arrested. They escape, but, on the run again, Manon collapses from exhaustion. She dies in Des Grieux’s arms.

Synopsis for this opera here


Last Updated on November 17, 2023

Christmas 2022

Wednesday 21st December 2022

Christopher Wheeldon’s lively Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland transports audiences to the riotous world of Lewis Carroll’s characters, including a tap-dancing Mad Hatter and a comically wicked Queen of Hearts. Bob Crowley’s ingenious mixture of traditional and innovative stagecraft together with the pace and colour of Joby Talbot’s score make Alice a gloriously vibrant experience. Packed with clever choreography – from the memorable croquet scene, complete with flamingos and hedgehogs, to a parody of the Rose Adage from The Sleeping Beauty – this is enchanting family entertainment at its best.

Last Updated on December 12, 2022

Year 2022

Wednesday 16th November 2022

Les Pecheurs De Perles – Bizet

The Pearl Fishers

Pearl Fishers“The spontaneous rapturous standing ovation from what looked like
the entire audience at the end of this superb production says it all. “

A pearl-diving village in the Far East. As the villagers prepare for their dive, they sing of their fear of the sea. Zurga tells them they must choose a leader, and they unanimously swear loyalty to him. Nadir returns to the village after spending a year away. He and Zurga recall that their friendship was almost destroyed when they both fell in love with a Hindu priestess.

Bizet’s rarely heard opera returned to the Met for the first time in a century on New Year’s Eve 2015, in Penny Woolcock’s acclaimed new production. Star soprano Diana Damrau sings Leïla, the virgin priestess at the center of the story. Matthew Polenzani and Mariusz Kwiecien are Nadir and Zurga, rivals for Leïla’s love who have sworn to renounce her to protect their friendship—and who get to sing one of opera’s most celebrated duets, “Au fond du temple saint.” Nicolas Testé is the high priest Nourabad and Gianandrea Noseda conducts Bizet’s supremely romantic score.

Synopsis: Click here

Wednesday 19th October 2022

Porgy and Bess – Gershwin

An opera in three acts, including the memorable songs ‘Summertime’, 

‘It ain’t necessarily so’, ‘I got plenty o’ nuttin’ and many more.


On Catfish Row in Charleston, South Carolina, Jasbo Brown is playing the blues for a group of dancers.

Clara sings a lullaby (“Summertime”) to her baby while a group of men gamble. When an argument breaks out, one of the men (Crown) strikes another (Robbins) dead. Crown flees, telling Bess, who is his girlfriend, that he will be back for her. The drug dealer Sportin’ Life offers Bess refuge, but instead she hides with Porgy, a disabled beggar. During Robbins’s wake, the police arrive in search of his killer.


Synopsis; click here

Wednesday 21st September 2022

Girl of the Golden West

Set during the Gold Rush, the ‘Polka’ Saloon, which is near California’s Cloudy Mountain, hosts the local community of gold miners. Like every good Western, this saloon is a place for drinking, gambling, fighting, dancing, and watching women, but in this lonely place the only woman worth watching is Minnie, the owner.. The men constantly argue over which among them Minnie will choose, and the bartender, Nick, knows the value of her presence as the men spend their winnings and wages trying to impress her. The local Sheriff, Jack Rance, is obsessed with her. A brooding and violent man, he cannot appeal to Minnie’s love for life, her love of God, and of the beauty of the world.

Synopsis; click here

Time ; 2hrs 24mins

Wednesday 17th August 2022


Aida – Verdi

This spectacular 1981 San Francisco production of Aida, directed by Sam Wanamaker, boasts production values more commonly associated with Hollywood to portray scenes from the time of the Pharaohs, notably a striking interior for the temple of Vulcan from where Radames is sent forth on his mission to conquer the invading Ethiopian army. With Margaret Price in the title role and Luciano Pavarotti as Radames, there is much going for this version, both musically and visually.

Synopsis; click here

Time 2hr 43m

Wednesday 20th July 2022

Thais Programme

Thais – Massenet

Pier Luigi Pizzo’s production for La Fenice production is absolutely gorgeous with incredible care shown down to the smallest detail, yet always fresh and never fussy. Roses seem to be a central theme in this production and Pizzi gives us have tons of them, a virtual moving wall of roses. Thais (and later, Athanael’s) bed is made of huge ropey vines of roses (which transforms during the meditation – as Thais lies on it, the roses all fall off at once leaving only a bed of giant thorny vines!).

Eva Mei is a moving Thais and while the voice lacks some “plushness” her piano and sustained high register singing is pure and lovely. She’s an affecting actress and her transformation from courtesan to saint is not only believable but poignant, she seems to radiate. The Mirror Aria is well sung, but it is in her duets with Pertusi, especially the opening and closing ones of Act III where she shines. Her death scene is absolutely beautiful.

Synopsis; click here

Wednesday June 15th 2022


Tosca from Rome


“Beautiful cinematography and great performances throughout. I first checked this out from Netflix, watched it several times and then reluctantly returned it. I couldn’t get it out of my head and so, finally got a copy for myself so I could watch any time I wanted!!”

Filmed on location in Rome, 1976.

Real elements of nostalgia here, to see Domingo in full flight. His refulgent voice is one of the enduring joys of this film of Tosca.

Synopsis: click here

Wednesday May 18th 2022


David Alden’s English National Opera production of Ariodante caused something of a stir on its first appearance in 1993.

Ariodante – Handel

*****Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 December 2000

… feel … yes, feel the pain of Anne Murray when she grasps the air with Ariodante’s hand as anguish, disapointment and despair overtakes her in scherza infida … its worth buying for just this one aria … as fine and involving as opera can make you, the audience, feel … there.
The production is subtley surreal but with one foot still firmly placed where it would have been in Handel’s time. Everything is right; sets, lighting, cast … and of course the wonderful. timeless myusic of Mr. H!
You watch what you think is just another opera DVD but you are left at the end with a breathless sense of occassion… marred only by the thought that you have to wait a little while to calm down … to play it again.
More please ENO!
synopsis:click here

Wednesday April 20th 2022

Der RosenkavalierDer Rosenkavalier – Strauss

(Der Weiner Staatsoper)

‘One of the most enjoyable operatic performances available on DVD. What makes it so outstanding is primarily Carlos Kleiber’s conducting which is far more expressive and dynamic than anybody else, including the famous Karajan. You can watch how much he enjoys conducting this opera. The production by Otto Schenk is by far the most loyal to the opera by Strauss with none of the modern additions or interpretations that other directors are trying to make their mark with.  I have watched this particular production in Vienna on a number of occasions and I have found it always stunning.

Synopsis: click here

Last Updated on November 18, 2022

Autumn – Winter 2021

 Wednesday October 20th at 1.00pm

 Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) is the most enduring ‘serious’ opera from a composer otherwise better known for his sparkling operettas. It’s not hard to see why: Offenbach’s witty and highly melodious music finds the perfect vehicle in the Romantic, richly imaginative world of the storyteller E.T.A. Hoffmann. Offenbach adapted Jules Barbier and Michel Carré’s play, in which Hoffmann is cast as the deeply flawed teller of his own tales. The composer’s death shortly before the opera’s completion has resulted in a number of alternative versions – but this multiplicity has done nothing to dull the irresistible appeal of an opera in which music and story come together in a deeply satisfying whole. 

Opera Appreciation Group  

Winter 2021/22 Programme



October 20th


Tales of Hoffman—Offenbach

A superb recording with Opera National de Lyon from 1993. It features a cast of top singers with the choir and orchestra of the Opera National directed by  Kent Nagano

 120 mins


November 17th


Don Giovanni—Mozart          (Zurich Opera)

This is a thrilling performance. It is deeply attractive on a number of levels, the stage (and screen) presence of the central male duo: ……Those two are funny and sexy, often both–delicious to listen to and to look at.

182 mins



December 15th


Der Rosenkavalier – Strauss (Der Weiner Staatsoper)

any discussion of this DVD must begin with the superb conducting of Carlos Kleiber. From the first bar of music, you know you’re in for an altogether different “Der Rosenkavalier.” His is an extraordinary approach: spirited, agressive even — and it is wholly successful. wonderful.

193  mins


January 19th


Ariodante—Handel         (English National Opera)

Without a doubt’ this is Handel at his best. A sublime score and a great production

178 mins


Last Updated on February 16, 2022

Past Operas 2019

December 18th 2019

Madame Butterfly – Puccini

A Film by Frederic Mitterrano

The story of a young geisha who falls madly in love with an american captain that travels all around the world collecting hearts.

November 20th 2019 at 1:30pm


Domingo. Cotrubas. Levine.

A brilliant performance despite it taking place as long ago as 1977. A comparatively young Placido Domingo sang the duke as well as any I’ve heard and I also thought the Rigoletto was the best I’d seen



Synopsis:- click here


October 16th 2019 at 1:30pm

Salome—Richard Strauss

Nadia Michael. Michaela Schuster.

Conductor Philippe Jordon. Director David McVicar
Orchestra Royal Opera House

Religion, sexuality and perversion potently combine in David McVicar’s gripping production of Richard Strauss’s opera.

“McVicar, a director who rarely puts a foot wrong, has once again put his stamp on a great work, making you view it afresh.” (Musicomh.com)

“As shocking as the cover shows it is even more chilling set in Nazi Germany. Excellent production.”

Synopsis:- Click here

August 21st 2019 at 1:30pm

Faust – Gounod

Gounod’s Faust (1859) was one of the world’s most popular operas from the 1860s to World War II, and remains a core repertory work. The story, adapted by Gounod’s librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carré’s play Faust et Marguerite, is based on Part I of Goethe’s epic poem Faust, which was a major inspiration for many composers during the 19th century and beyond.

Gounod added a ballet to Act V when Faust received its first Paris Opéra staging in 1869.

Synopsis: Click here


July 17th – No Opera

June 19th at 1:30pm

Lucia Di Lammermoor – Donizetti

The Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti (1796-1848) adapted his opera Lucia de Lammermoor from the novel by Sir Walter Scott, with its tale of a doomed romance between Miss Lucia, daughter of the Ashtons, and Lord Edgardo, the head of the Ravenswood clan driven to a lonely exile on Wolf’s Crag. The 1992 stage production with The Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro alla Scala as conducted by Stefano Ranzani comes to home video in the release Lucia de Lammermoor. Renato Bruson portrays Lord Enrico Ashton and Mariella Devia is Miss Lucia. The cast also features Vincenzo la Scola, Marco Berti, Carlo Colombara and Ernesto Gavazzi

Synopsis: Click here

May 15th 2019 at 1:30pm

Attila – Verdi

This energetic, noisy opera was a product of Verdi’s ‘anni di galera’ when he had difficulty in keeping up with the pressure upon him to compose operas. It has been described as one of his ‘crasser’ products. I can think of several composers who would give their eye teeth to be able to write such an opera. The problem for Verdi is the standard of what had gone before and what we now know was to come………

So, by Verdian standards, not the best of operas; but by any standards this must be one of the best performances of it. Recorded in 1991, all had overcome their curiosity of the camera so there are none of the early distracting sly glances. All is played on stage and how well it is played, with all characters engaging completely with the text.

Synopsis: Click here

March 20th 2019 at 1:30pm

Carmen Sleeve PhotoCarmen – Bizet

Metropolotan Opera

Bizet’s Carmen has everything you want from an opera: high drama, passionate characters, a love story. And what’s more it’s absolutely packed with great melodies – even if you don’t know the opera, you’ll definitely know the tunes.

First and foremost – the music is nothing short of awesome

Bizet wrote a fair few great works – the Te Deum for a start – but in Carmen he really went up a gear in terms of writing entrancing melodies.

Superstar tenor José Carreras is Don José, the solider from a small town who … Samuel Ramey is the charismatic matador Escamillo, who lures Carmen away 

Synopsis: Click here

February 20th 2019 at 1:30pm

Tito Sleeve PhotoLa Clemenza Di Tito – Mozart


Loosely based on the life of the Roman Emperor Titus, La clemenza di Tito distills the suspense of Don Giovanni, the warmth of Le nozze di Figaro, and the nobility of Die Zauberflöte into one powerful parable of love and friendship, vengeance and mercy.

Synopsis: Click here



January 6th 2019 at 1:30

La Boheme – Puccini

La bohème is one of opera’s most popular and unforgettable stories. When young poet Rodolfo meets seamstress Mimì, it’s love at first sight. But faced by the cruel realities of poverty and ill health, will the flame that burns between them flicker and die? Or will the timeless strength of their youthful passion withstand every trial and tribulation that life can throw at them?

Synopsis: click here

Last Updated on March 16, 2020

Past Operas Pre-2019

December 19th 2018 at 1:30pm

Porgy and Bess – Gershwin

  • Willard White, Cynthia Haymon, Damon Evans, Cynthia Clarey
  • Orchestra: Glyndebourne Festival Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle


“This is the most complete video that I have found anywhere
that has “most” of the songs from the original score in their
orginal form as written musically. The sound, scenery, and costumes
make the story come alive; you feel as though you too are living
in Catfish Row!”
Synopsis: click here

November 21st 2018 at 1:30pm

Julius Caesar – Handel

‘This is Baker at her finest! Though recorded late in her career the sheer beauty of her phrasing, the accuracy of her pitch and the dramatic intensity of her delivery remind us that this was an exceptional singer of her time.’


‘Dame Janet Baker in one of her greatest roles leads a cast of some of Britain’s finest interpreters of baroque opera under the baton of Sir Charles Mackerras. John Copley’s acclaimed English National Opera production was restaged in studio skilfully using all the technical advantages offered to create this top quality recording.’

Synopsis:  click here

October 17th 2018 at 1:30pm


“Beautiful cinematography and great performances throughout. I first checked this out from Netflix, watched it several times and then reluctantly returned it. I couldn’t get it out of my head and so, finally got a copy for myself so I could watch any time I wanted!!”

Filmed on location in Rome, 1976.

Real elements of nostalgia here, to see Domingo in full flight. His refulgent voice is one of the enduring joys of this film of Tosca.

Synopsis: click here

September 19th 2018 at 1:30pm
Il Trovatore – Verdi

Il TrovatoreThis 1978 performance of Il Trovatore from Vienna is a definitive performance of Verdi’s war opera, under the stern direction of Herbert von Karajan.

Placído Domingo is at the height of his powers here, singing the title role with power and passion, his dark-tinted tenor ideally suited and still capable of the vocal leaps and bounds required by some of Verdi’s most challenging music. His Manrico is a mix of neurosis and sex appeal whose death in the fourth act leaves the viewer feeling hollow. It should say something about his performance that his “Di quella pira” rings down the curtain on Act III with so much gusto and energy that the aria feels like the climactic finish of the opera. You almost forget that there’s a fourth act to come…..more here

Verdi’s Il trovatore is probably best known for its ‘gypsy’ music: the Anvil Chorus, Azucena’s ‘Stride la vampa’ and Manrico’s heroic ‘Di quella pira’ are key examples. But Verdi wrote wonderful music for all four of his leads and the score boasts a host of thrilling ensembles and chorus numbers including the Count’s aristocratic aria ‘Il balen del suo sorriso’ and Leonora’s prayer

Synopsis: Click here.

August 15th 2018 at 1:30pm

Andrea Chénier – Giordano

Giordano’s Andrea Chénier is one of the greatest of verismo operas, full of heart-stopping big tunes and powerful emotional situations. If it is not as well-known as it should be, it is because in summary it sounds a little too like Puccini’s Tosca: there is a tussle between political opponents over a woman, an attempt to save a condemned man, a tenor aria about writing poetry on the eve of execution. The difference is that Gerard (Giorgio Zancanaro) is not a villain like Scarpia, he is an idealist whom the French Revolution has betrayed as much as it has his rival the poet Chénier (Placido Domingo). His temptation to abuse his power to seduce the virtuous Maddalena (Anna Tomowa-Sintow) is a momentary one, though its consequences are terrible. There is a streak of post-Wagnerian decadence in much of this–Maddalena is at least as much in love with death as she is with Chénier, and the final love duet has a deeply sinister aspect.

Domingo is at his best in this Covent Garden Opera House performance from 1985; at once ardent and serious-minded, we believe in his Chénier as a poet and political figure. Conductor Julius Rudel gives the rich score all the weight and lyricism it demands and the Covent Garden chorus is at its occasional best in the scenes of revolutionary excess.

Synopsis: click here

July 18th 2018 at 1:30pm

The Turn of the Screw – Britten

If you have the misfortune to be born into an operatic family you can expect to be murdered by your own mother (Médée, Lucrezia Borgia), killed by your grandmother (Jenufa), or even bumped off by a hitman hired by your father (Rigoletto).

Perhaps most insidious, however, are the crimes not of violence but of absence, neglect rather than active cruelty. Productions of Verdi’s I due Foscari and Britten’s The Turn of the Screw whispered some of the darkest unspokens of parent-child relations, conjuring nightmares all the more potent for their subtle horrors.

Britten’s ‘curious story’ of a governess caring for two orphaned children in a remote house is a miracle of taut construction. Running at less than two hours, with a cast of six and an orchestra of just 13, its slender precision mirrors Henry James’s original. But Britten’s musical narrative has a built-in device denied to the prose-bound James. Constructed around a single theme, the work unfolds in 15 variations, each ‘turning the screw’ just a little tighter on this single idée fixe. In Jonathan Kent’s endlessly inventive production for Glyndebourne (originally seen in 2006), these variations go from musical transitions to the dramatic engine driving this domestic tragedy to its terrible conclusion.

The cosy 1950s naturalism of Paul Brown’s set is framed by a double, circular revolve. Almost perpetually in motion, propelling beds and baths, children and their ghostly doubles into and out of view, it suggests unseen agency. At its centre is a giant glass panel which twists and shifts with each changing scene. Endlessly reinventing itself, first greenhouse, now French windows, then frozen lake, it remains always a membrane — increasingly and terrifyingly porous — between two worlds. Whether these are worlds of sanity and madness or safety and danger remains deliberately unclear as they merge and bleed into one another, echoing the governess’s own question: ‘Is this sheltered place the wicked world, where things unspoken of can be?’

Scene from Glyndebourne Tour’s Turn of the Screw. Photo: Tristram Kenton

Elegant though Kent’s production is, Britten’s opera stands or falls with its cast. Achieving a rare natural chemistry, the children — Flora (Louise Moseley) and Miles (Thomas Delgado-Little) — dominate. So familiar, so instinctive is their play that it loads the dice even more heavily than usual against the governess (Natalya Romaniw) and her suspicions. A brilliant coup de théâtre finds them playing in the dirt of a fresh grave, ripping petals from a wreath — horrors of the sweetest, most innocent kind imaginable.

If all eyes are on the children, all ears are on the adults of the cast. Anthony Gregory’s Quint is exquisitely sung, his villain all the more disturbing for his vocal beauty. He’s paired with an explosive Miss Jessel (Miranda Keys), whose vocal dramatics contrast with Romaniw’s matter-of-fact delivery — only hinting at hysteria in the very final moments — and an unusually robust Mrs Grose from Anne Mason.

On careful inspection, film footage used in the Prologue reveals itself shot in Glyndebourne’s own gardens. We may watch Bly’s tragedy from the safety of the audience, but shouldn’t kid ourselves that we’re safe from its horrors. It’s the final and cruellest twist for a Screw that’s tightly wound indeed.

Synopsis: click here

June 20th 2018 at 1:30pm

Il Barbiere Di Siviglia – Rossini

Many operas around the world cover on the subjects of love, sorrow, and death, that is to say, they are tragic dramas. If you are not good at such negative stories, I recommend you see this opera-“The Barber of Seville.” I’m sure we will burst into laughter many times, because there are some comical points in this opera. You should especially pay attention to the dialogue between Bartolo and Almaviva. Almaviva disguises himself as Bartolo’s right hand man in Act 2. The audience frequently burst into laughter.

Gioachino Rossini who composed this opera is a musical genius. The overture of this opera is very famous. And Rossini’s melodies are bright and smooth, so the opera’s story flows freely. Do you know the “Rossini Crescendo”? This is Rossini’s unique method of composition to increase sound volume gradually in steps. The Rossini Crescendo probably excites both orchestra and audience at the same time.

Synopsis: click here

March 21st 2018 at 1:30pm

Idomeneo – Mozart

Opera in three acts, Libretto by Giovanni Battista Varesco
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Returning home from the Trojan Wars during a storm, Idomeneo, the king of Crete, vows to sacrifice to Neptune (the Greek god Poseidon) the first living creature he meets ashore in return for his own safety. The first person he sees turns out to be his own son Idamante, and Idomeneo attempts to escape from fulfilling his vow. Idamante, meanwhile, is loved by orphaned prisoner Ilia and by the jealous Electra. Who will be sacrificed, and who will stay with Idamante?

Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera
Conductor James Levine
Chorus Daniel Palumbo

Synopsis; Click here

April 18th 2018 at 1:30pm

Cav & Pag

January 17th 2018 at 1:30pm

Aida – Verdi

This high-definition broadcast of the Met’s sumptuous Sonja Frisell-Gianni Quaranta production brings Verdi’s beloved opera to breathtaking life. The spectacular sets and costumes, the thrilling triumphal scene, and the newly created choreography by Alexei Ratmansky all frame Verdi’s poignant story of impossible love in an incandescent way. Violeta Urmana is the slave girl of the title who loves the warrior Radamès (Johan Botha). Dolora Zajick sings Amneris, the Pharaoh’s daughter and Aida’s rival for Radamès’s affection. The love triangle ends in treason, imprisonment, and death.

Synopsis; click here

Time 2hr 47m

February 21st 2018 at 1:30pm

Daughter of the Regiment Donizetti

Marie was found on a battlefield as a baby and adopted by a regiment of soldiers. When she falls for Tonio – a civilian – she faces a choice between love and her adopted family.

Pelly’s production fizzes with exuberant humour. It features wonderfully inventive sets: large maps evoke the mountains of Tyrol, the regiment’s camp drowns in laundry and an armoured tank bursts into a drawing room. Gaetano Donizetti’s score weaves robust, military melodies with moments of pathos. Musical highlights include the bravura tenor aria ‘Pour mon âme’, with its vertical leaps to a succession of high Cs, and the delightful duet ‘Quoi? vous m’aimez!’ in which Tonio expresses his love for Marie.

Dessay, Florez

Synopsis; click here

Time 2hr 12m


20th December 2017 at 1:30pm

La Traviata – Verdi

Ileana Cotrubas is stunning as Violetta, the glamorous courtesan who gives up everything for love. Her portrayal is filled with countless little touches that make even the most familiar role seem totally new, and audiences suffered with her plight, and wept at her death.

Plácido Domingo’s golden, seductive voice would make any woman want to run away with him, and Cornell MacNeil is his stern but understanding father.

James Levine’s nuanced conducting is sublime.

Synopsis: Click to download

Time 2hrs 30m

Die Meistersingers von Nϋrnberg – Wagner

From Glyndbourne Opera House

One of the world’s oldest and most celebrated opera festivals, running through the summer months in a magnificent modern theatre situated in the grounds of a country house. This isn’t simply a fluffily glamorous summer beano for the idle wealthy, but one of the world’s great opera houses, boasting unfailingly high musical and production standards that are a byword among the cognoscenti.

The impoverished Franconian knight Walther von Stolzing has come to Nuremberg to dispose of his lands with the aid of the wealthy goldsmith Veit Pogner. He has fallen instantly in love with Pogner’s beautiful daughter, Eva, and followed her this morning to church. As the congregation sing a final hymn and file out, he seizes his chance to talk with her alone…………..

‘Meistersinger is the best-liked Wagner opera, not such a monster as The Ring, clearly better than the slightly ludicrous Tannhauser and Lohengrin, less holy than Parsifal, not so taxing as Tristan. So it is played a lot, and loved by not only Wagnerites, but a lot of the generality of mankind as well.

Meistersinger is the acceptable face of Wagner. There are no hang-ups with sex and sin, no power-mad dwarfs, no sprouting staves, no swans and not a holy grail in sight. Even the racial propaganda mentioned in the notes above can be played down to zero effect except for the unavoidable and disagreeable final outburst about the ethnic cleansing of the arts.

The story is simple, strong and rather slow……….

But the great glory of Meistersinger is its music.’

October 18th at 1:30pm Acts 1 & 2

2h 32m

A superb performance of this melodic comic opera performed at Glyndbourne in 2011. It has freshness, colour and movement which keeps your attention. The storyline is there throughout and easily splits into two halves enabling us to show this exciting video in successive months. We will give an intro to Act 3 to remind you of the story.

See Synopsis .

November 15th at 1:30pm Act 3 of Die Meistersingers von Nϋrnberg,

Wagner from Glyndbourne Act 3, 2h 08m

In which an elopement is frustrated and a serenade leads to an altercation which becomes a riot, our hero rehearses his bid for winning a song contest, a journeyman is promoted and an unscrupulous town clerk makes off with someone else’s poem.

An introduction will be given to remind you of the story so far.

Synopsis; of Die Meistersingers von Nϋrnberg from Glyndbourne 2011

“So it’s three hearty cheers for Meistersinger, a noble life-enhancing work which, although a long sit-down, can give you one of the happiest and most rewarding of evenings in the opera house .”

20th September 2017 at 1:30pm

L’Elisir D’Amore – Donizetti

Except for three passages, Nemorino in ”L’Elisir d’Amore” is nearly a perfect role for Luciano Pavarotti, who sang it at the Metropolitan Opera Friday night in the season’s first performance of the work. It doesn’t overtax the stamina or volume of his voice (both were more than ample Friday); it isn’t too high; it benefits from his lively, pointed diction, and it gives generous opportunities for both of his strongest traits as an actor – clowning and simple pathos. He mugged with relish but was almost never excessive, and he was believable and touching at the moment when poor Nemorino’s hopes topple in the first finale.

Synopsis: Click to open

16th August 2017 at 1:30pm

La Donna del Lago – Rossini

Although thought by some to be one of Rossini’s greatest Neapolitan operas La Donna del Lago is rarely performed, probably due to its demanding florid bel canto vocal writing. I side with Amazon’s staff reviewer, who says that La Scala’s glorious production is graced by some of today’s finest singers and that Riccardo Muti brilliantly emphasizes the work’s dramatic plot, beautiful melodic ideas and touches of local colour.
Set in a dark, glowering ancient Scotland in perpetual strife, battles off stage and three men vying for the love of the soprano. The singing is in this opera … well pointed by Muti. But what singing, as florid as you’ll find and better than you’re likely to encounter in another live performance.

Synopsis – Click to Open

19th July 2017

Turandot – Puccini


In a giant courtyard of the Forbidden City, a woman’s voice soars gloriously into the night sky.

Spotlights illuminate a 580-year-old Ming Dynasty temple where emperors once made sacrifices to their ancestors. Now hundreds of Chinese soldiers and dancers move to the music and to instructions shouted over a loudspeaker. Two ancient-looking pavilions at the front of the vermilion temple hall eerily glide toward center stage, then spew forth dozens more soldiers.

21st June 2017 at 1:30pm

Traviata – Verdi

Netrebko as Violetta

“Netrebko and Villazón . . . are young, attractive and able to convey dramatic emotions. . . . There is not a cough to be heard, nor a crinoline in sight. Yet the passion each lover feels for the other is tangible, and Violetta’s desperation unbearably acute.”

A gorgeous Anna Netrebko not only looks the part in Act 1, she also seizes the sexy essence of the fameous courtesan through sultry actions. There’s no question why man fall for this Violetta. Her conquests include Alfredo, portrayed with equal aplomp by the consummate artist Rolando Villazón. With excellent audio and superb video direction, Netrebko and Villazón’s rather magical rapport comes to the fore, and vocally the two blend superbly . . .Villazón . . . is pure gold throughout. Not content just to blow the audience away with his burnished tenor, he imparts every ounce of Alfredo’s naive and conflicting emotions without       losing the larger melodic contours. His singing is expansive and dark of timbre yet nimble.”

Netrebko · Villazón · Hampson
Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
Wiener Philharmoniker · Carlo Rizzi
Staged by Willy Decker · Directed by Brian Large

Synopsis: click to open

Past Productions

17 May 2017 at 1:30pm

The Girl from the Golden West – Puccini

A youthful Placido Domingo makes a dashing Dick Johnson his greed turned to love on meeting Minnie. His final act aria in which he appeals to the mob not to tell Minnie that they have hanged him but rather let her believe that he has ridden away remorseful to a new life is particularly appealing.

Minnie…Carol Neblett

Dick Johnson (alias Ramirez the bandit)…Placido Domingo

Jack Rance…Silvano Carroli

Ashby…Robert Lloyd

Jack Wallace…Gwynne Howell

The Royal Opera Chorus and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House/Nello Santi

Recorded in the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London in 1983

NVC ARTS/WARNER 50466-8356-2-8 [140 mins]

“This is a truly inspired opera with some wonderful music that to my mind admirably evokes the wild west. A soaring performance by the 3 principals, supported admirably and with considerable charm by the supporting cast. I can’t stop watching it”

Synopsis: – Click to OPEN

15 March 2017 at 1:30pm

Othello – Verdi

A Film by Franco Zeffirelli
Otello, A film by Franco ZeffirelliFrom the rousing opening to the desperate and tender finale, this is perhaps Verdi’s most highly charged, sweeping score: a complete masterpiece. It’s a natural project for Zeffirelli, who has filmed both Shakespeare (Romeo & Juliet; Taming of the Shrew) and Opera (La traviata) successfully. And he pulls out all the stops here.

His storytelling is lucid, if sometimes overstressed, with dreams and flashbacks, but led by the music.

Domingo is magnificent, the greatest Otello of his generation, no question, with Ricciarelli the most lovely and radiant Desdemona imaginable. Diaz at Iago is fine and the whole production is eye-poppingly sumptuous, as you would expect from Zeffirelli.

Actors: Plácido Domingo, Katia Ricciarelli, Justino Díaz, Petra Malakova, Urbano Barberini

Directors: Franco Zeffirelli

Writers: Franco Zeffirelli, Arrigo Boito, Masolino D’Amico, William Shakespeare

Producers: John Thompson, Menahem Golan, Yoram Globus

Synopsis: click to open

15 February 2017 at 1:30pm

Sicilian Vespers

Cover Picture Sicilian Vespers


Les Vêpres siciliennes is one of Verdi’s lesser-known mature operas, but was vital to his development as a composer. It was created for the Paris Opéra in 1855, providing Verdi with an opportunity to embrace the elaborate style and traditions of French grand opera.

Stefan Herheim brings Verdi’s tale of revenge, family relations and patriotism to Covent Garden for the first time. His imaginative production draws parallels between the opera and the opera house for which it was written, including a spectacular re-creation of the Paris Opéra itself. Musically, the work contains impressive choruses, passionate duets and some wonderful showpiece arias for the principal singers. Particular highlights include Procida’s aria on returning to Sicily ‘Et toi, Palerme’, the Act IV duet ‘De courroux et d’effroi’ in which Hélène expresses her sympathy for Henri’s dilemma and Hélène’s brilliant Act V boléro, ‘Merci, jeunes amis’.

Leo Nucci, Susan Dunn, Veriano Luchetti, Bonaldo Giaiotti, Gianfranco Casarini,

Conductor: Riccardo Chailly, Producer: Luca Ronconi

Synopsis:- click to open

18 January 2017 pm


Carmen Cover Picture

Placido Domingo, Julia Migenes, Ruggero Raimondi, Faith Esham

Directors: Francesco Rosi                                        Writers: Georges Bizet

All the passion and spectacle of Bizet’s Carmen comes to life in this dazzling screen opera starring Placido Domingo and Julia Migenes-Johnson. In 19th century Seville, the lusty, tempestuous Carmen (Migenes-Johnson) seduces a naive Army corporal, Don Jose (Domingo), newly assigned to the village fortress. Jose abandons his career, his fianc‚e and even his dying mother for the love of this sultry gypsy. But soon she spurns him in favor of a toreador, Escamillo (Ruggero Raimondi). Crazed with jealousy, Jose begs Carmen to return to him, but her taunting declaration of independence results in tragedy. Shot entirely on location in Andalusia Spain, Bizet’s Carmen has been hailed as the definitive version of this classic opera.

There are a lot of famous melodies in this opera, for example, the famous prelude, “Habanera” sung by title role, Carmen, and other songs. You would never be bored by this opera, though operas generally are long. “Toreador Song” sung by Escamillo who is a bullfighter in Act 2 is outstanding, and the Aria sung by Micaela in Act 3 is lyrical and beautiful. Many first time opera-goers would enjoy seeing this opera.

Synpsis:- click to open

15 June 2016 pm

La Boheme

la-boheme-ss15-production-shots-02-325x250Puccini (113 mins) from Opera Australia

Puccini’s unforgettable tale of love, youth, and tragic loss

It’s about friendship and falling in love. It’s about sacrifice and never giving up, even if it means parting with your lover — or your favourite coat.


20 July 2016 pm


SadkoRimsky-KorsakovPuccini  (174mins.)  Marinsky Theatre,  Kirov Opera Chorus, Kirov Opera Orchestra

You can really smell the sea in this opera – the simple evocation of the rocking sea that opens the opera weaves itself into every corner of the score.

The opera tells the story of Sadko, a gusli player, who leaves his wife, Lubava, and home in Novgorod and eventually returns a wealthy man.

17 August 2016 pm

Pelleas and Melisande

production imageopera by Claude Debussy (Theater an der Wien 2009) (163 Mins)

The only opera Debussy ever completed, it is considered a landmark in 20th-century music.The plot concerns a love triangle.

“This is one of the most beautiful operas of all time.
Debussy’s subtle music frames this mysterious love drama, in which the action and the words dominate. The result is a perfect matching of words, theater and music. In this opera there are no arias, the melody is in the orchestra, not in the voices, it may seem strange to those accustomed to romantic opera, but as one gets used, it’s beauty shows itself. “

21 September 2016 pm

Ariadne Auf Naxos

Richard Straus (134 mins)

Combining slapstick comedy and consummately beautiful music, the opera’s theme is the competition between high and low art for the public’s attention.

19 October 2016 pm

Il Trovatore

Il Trovatore Cover Picture

Four internationally celebrated Verdians gather on the stage of The Royal Opera for an unforgettable night of music and drama. Tenor José Cura is thrilling as the freedom-fighting troubadour of the title; seductive baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky is his nemesis Count di Lina; acclaimed soprano Verónica Vilarroel is the object of their love; and Yvonne Naef dazzles as the vengeful gypsy Azucena. Carlo Rizzi conducts, and Elijah Moshinsky’s lavish production, which updates the action to the mid-19th century, fills the stage with breathtaking fight sequences and grand sets.


16 November 2016 pm

Manon Lescaut

Last Updated on September 7, 2019