Three operas to premiere at the Hackney Empire

PUBLISHED: 18:02 08 February 2013 | UPDATED: 15:13 12 February 2013

The English Touring Opera will premiere Mozart's Cos? Fan Tutte at the Hackney Empire

The English Touring Opera will premiere Mozart's Cos? Fan Tutte at the Hackney Empire


The UK’s leading touring opera company will premiere three new productions of operas by Mozart, Verdi and Donizetti at the Hackney Empire next month.

English Touring Opera’s (ETO) spring season will see Così fan tutte, Simon Boccanegra and The Siege of Calais take to the stage in Mare Street which the company’s general director James Conway finds is “one of the real jewels in the crown”.

“It’s rare to find such a good theatre that projects the voice so well, these days most modern theatres are engineered for amplified sound, they try to get a flat acoustic with no resonance, opera is about the bare human voice, and of course voices sound so much more beautiful when they are not amplified,” said Mr Conway.

“I really think we’ve got a season where there’s something for everybody - opera lovers and those who want to love opera but are a little shy of trying.”

Cosi fan tutte is a comedy about a pair of young lovers whose boyfriends test them to see if they could fall for someone else.

“It’s a profound piece psychologically and a perfect music score, there’s some agony about it, but it’s about romantic passion that flares up in a moment and might not last,” said Mr Conway.

Meanwhile Simon Boccanegra, sung in Italian with English subtitles, tells the tale of a father who loses his daughter at a young age but finds her 25 years later having assumed she is dead.

“It’s an emotional piece, it’s almost too much,” said James.

“Verdi lost his own two children when they were very small infants, it’s very poignant but also affirmative, in the fairytale he’s able to find her but very soon afterwards he dies himself.”

Then the UK professional premiere of Donizetti’s rarely performed epic The Siege of Calais tells the story of the burghers of Calais who offered up their lives to save their city from ruin by the forces of Edward III, King of England.

“It’s an absolutely amazing firecracker of a piece, complete red blood opera, it’s only two hours long, it packs in every intense emotion into those two hours,” said Mr Conway.

Cosἰ fan tutte runs on Saturday 2 and Thursday March 7, Simon Boccanegra runs on Friday March at 7.30pm and The Siege of Calais Donizetti runs on Saturday March 9, all performances start at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost from £10 to £32.50.

Call 020 8985 2424 for tickets or see

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