Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Three dramatic operas including a UK premiere
A trio of heavyweight operas head to Birmingham for the Welsh National Opera's (WNO) summer season.
Wagner Dream, Lohengrin and Madam Butterfly are performed at Birmingham Hippodrome from June 12 to June 15, 2013.
A scene from Wagner Dream
Wagner Dream Written by the late Jonathan Harvey, this modern opera is set during the final days of composer Richard Wagner's life in Venice.
Wagner Dream features the final moments in Richard Wagner's life
It focuses on the relationships Wagner has with women in his life while the composer also recalls an opera, about buddhism and Indian lovers Prakriti and Ananda, which he never completed.
The tale of these lovers is weaved into the Wagner storyline in an extraordinary fashion.
This is the first British staged production of the opera, which premiered in 2007 and features spoken word along with opera. It is supported by members of the Getty Family as part of British Firsts and by a lead gift from The Kobler Trust.
The cast includes Richard Wiegold, Claire Booth and Robin Tritschler, who sing in Pali, Sanskrit and German. There are surtitles in English. It is around 1h 30mins long.
What better way to follow an opera about Richard Wagner than with one of his operas.
Here comes the bride in Wagner's Lohengrin opera
Many may not have seen the adaptation of this German fairytale of romance and also heartbreak, but they will know only too well it's famous Bridal Chorus - more recognisable as 'Here Comes The Bride' in weddings across the UK and further afield.
The storyline follows a young woman whose life is saved by a knight and must marry him in return, but never ask his name.
Wagner's Lohengrin is rarely performed
But unable to resist, she brings heartbreak to her life by asking that which must never be asked, with devastating consequences as he is Lohengrin, the son of Parsifal, King of the Grail, and must leave when his identity is unveiled.
Lohengrin lasts for 4hrs and 30 minutes with two intervals. This is a chance to see a rarely performed opera by Wagner. Sung in German with English surtitles.
Lohengrin at Birmingham Hippodrome
June 13 and June 15, 2013 at 5.30pm.
Tickets cost £19 - £54 from 0844 338 5000 or www.birminghamhippodrome.com
Puccini's dramatic, sensuous and irresistible opera of love and betrayal returns to Birmingham for WNO's summer season.
The WNO's performance of Madam Butterfly returns to Birmingham Hippodrome
Featuring the romantic duet One Fine Day, this opera follows the tragic tale of Geisha girl Cio-Cio San who weds an American Lieutenant, believing he loves her too, and waits patiently for him to return to her. But when he does return, her hopes are devastatingly pulled apart.
Cheryl Barker stars as Cio-Cio San with Gwyn Hughes Jones as the dastardly Pinkerton.
The performance lasts 2hrs 40mins. Sung in Italian with English subtitles.
SPECIAL WNO EVENT
For those interested in finding out more background to the operas, there is a special event - The Whole Story - which takes place on Monday June 10 from 7pm to 9pm. Expert analysis to the music and storylines of Lohengrin and Wagner Dream will be offered.
Tickets cost £8 per person, or £4 if booking at the same time for the performance of Wagner Dream.