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Yorkshire Times
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7:13 PM 4th October 2021
arts

National Tour Of A Magical Handel Rarity Marks English Touring Opera’s Return To Live Performance

English Touring Opera returns to the stage with a new production of Handel’s “magic opera” Amadigi, with performances at York Theatre Royal on 11 and 12 October, as part of a UK tour.

William Towers and Tim Morgan share the title role, with Francesca Chiejina and Jenny Stafford singing the part of the sorceress Melissa, whose infatuation with Amadigi drives her to imprison his love Oriana (Harriet Eyley) and torment him and his companion turned rival, Dardano (Rebecca Afonwy-Jones), with shape-shifting spells and devilish devices.

English Touring Opera’s period instrument orchestra partner, the Old Street Band, is conducted by Jonathan Peter Kenny, and the production is directed by James Conway, reuniting the team responsible for celebrated Handel productions Giulio Cesare (2017, 2020), Xerxes (2016) and 2009’s Handelfest (a hugely successful and unprecedented undertaking of performing five different Handel operas over five consecutive nights).

Handel’s exuberant, rarely performed opera explores the powerlessness of young people in the face of all-consuming love. Vividly depicting the feverish highs and devastating lows of infatuation, the opera is brimming with exquisite arias and tuneful music that pre-echoes work such as the composer’s Water Music and the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.

The small but important role of the boy, Orgando, will be taken by a young local singer, found through an open audition process, building on ETO’s strong history of working with children’s choirs and young singers from all over the country.

English Touring Opera
Handel’s Amadigi
York Theatre Royal
11-12 October, 7.30pm
Box office 01904 623568 | yorktheatreroyal.co.uk